Disagreement About Inflation Expectations

60 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2003

See all articles by N. Gregory Mankiw

N. Gregory Mankiw

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ricardo Reis

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Justin Wolfers

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; The University of Sydney - Discipline of Economics; Brookings Institution - Economic Studies Program; Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2003

Abstract

Analyzing 50 years of inflation expectations data from several sources, we document substantial disagreement among both consumers and professional economists about expected future inflation. Moreover, this disagreement shows substantial variation through time, moving with inflation, the absolute value of the change in inflation, and relative price variability. We argue that a satisfactory model of economic dynamics must speak to these important business cycle moments. Noting that most macroeconomic models do not endogenously generate disagreement, we show that a simple sticky-information' model broadly matches many of these facts. Moreover, the sticky-information model is consistent with other observed departures of inflation expectations from full rationality, including autocorrelated forecast errors and insufficient sensitivity to recent macroeconomic news.

Suggested Citation

Mankiw, N. Gregory and Reis, Ricardo A.M.R. and Wolfers, Justin, Disagreement About Inflation Expectations (June 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9796. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=418298

N. Gregory Mankiw (Contact Author)

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