Technical Report Measuring Inflation Expectations: Consumers' Heterogeneity and Nonlinearity

Abe, Naohito  ,  Ueno, Yuko

2015-06 , Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University
Using the results of detailed random experiments, we find clear evidence of the effects of information provision on consumers’ inflation expectations. The responses of expectations to new information are nonlinear, including those of a sizable share of individuals who do not change their expectations. We document that the updates of consumers are quite heterogeneous, leading to a varied extent of revisions in the face of new information. One possible interpretation is the heterogeneity in consumers’ knowledge of inflation-related issues, as well as the difference in the content of the information. Consumers learn and update their expectations vis-à-vis future inflation based on new information, through a mechanism that is more complex than a simple learning model.

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