Technical Report The Mechanism of Inflation Expectation Formation among Consumers

Abe, Naohito  ,  Ueno, Yuko

2016-03 , Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University
How do we determine our expectations of inflation? Because inflation expectations greatly influence the economy, researchers have long considered this question. Using a survey with randomized experiments among 15,000 consumers, we investigate the mechanism of inflation expectation formation. Learning theory predicts that once people obtain new information on future inflation, they change their expectations. In this regard, such expectations are the weighted average of prior belief and information. We confirm that the weight for prior belief is a decreasing function of the degree of uncertainty. Our results also show that monetary authority information affects consumers to a greater extent when expectations are updated. With such information, consumers change their inflation expectations by 37% from the average. This finding supports improvements to monetary policy publicity.

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