Influencing household inflation expectations

Alberto Cavallo, Guillermo Crucas, Ricardo Perez-Truglia 10 November 2014

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Expectations about macroeconomic variables play an important role in economic theory and policymaking. Household inflation expectations, in particular, are key to understand consumption and investment decisions, and ultimately, the impact of monetary policies. Although central banks have a natural desire to influence expectations, there is no consensus on how household expectations are formed or what the best way to affect them is (see Bernanke 2007, Bachmann et al. 2012, Coibion and Gorodnichenko 2013, and Armantier et al. 2014).

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Topics:  Monetary policy

Tags:  expectations, beliefs, inflation, inflation expectations, monetary policy, US, Argentina, central bank communication, rational inattention, costly information, learning

Bond markets help lower inflation

Andrew K Rose 06 October 2014

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 “I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”

James Carville, Wall Street Journal (25 February, 1993, p. A1)

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Topics:  Financial markets Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  inflation, nominal bonds, local-currency bonds, inflation-targeting

The halo of victory: What Americans learned from World War I

Hugh Rockoff 04 October 2014

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World War I had important consequences for the structure of the US economy and its role in the world economy. This was especially true in the world of finance. The US transitioned from being a debtor nation to a creditor nation, and financial leadership moved from London to New York. But equally important were the lessons that Americans drew from the war. Although the war had much to teach, Americans tended, I will argue below, to learn too much from the war, drawing strong conclusions from a war in which the US was actively engaged for only 19 months.

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Topics:  Competition policy Economic history

Tags:  World War I, WWI, planning, rationing, New Deal, Great Depression, fiscal policy, monetary policy, stimulus, financial crisis, conscription, inflation, unemployment, price controls, Competition policy, antitrust, National Industrial Recovery Act

Where danger lurks

Olivier Blanchard 03 October 2014

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Until the 2008 global financial crisis, mainstream US macroeconomics had taken an increasingly benign view of economic fluctuations in output and employment. The crisis has made it clear that this view was wrong and that there is a need for a deep reassessment.

The benign view reflected both factors internal to economics and an external economic environment that for years seemed indeed increasingly benign.

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Topics:  Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  macroeconomics, global crisis, great moderation, rational expectations, nonlinearities, fluctuations, business cycle, monetary policy, inflation, bank runs, deposit insurance, sudden stops, capital flows, liquidity, maturity mismatch, zero lower bound, liquidity trap, capital requirements, credit constraints, precautionary savings, housing boom, Credit crunch, unconventional monetary policy, fiscal policy, sovereign default, diabolical loop, deflation, debt deflation, financial regulation, regulatory arbitrage, DSGE models

Will the US inflate away its public debt?

Ricardo Reis, Jens Hilscher, Alon Raviv 07 August 2014

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Should the US Federal Reserve raise the inflation target from its current level of 2%? And will it? One benefit would be to make hitting the zero lower bound less likely, which would lead to less severe recessions, as Olivier Blanchard, Giovanni Dell’Ariccia, and Paolo Mauro (2010), Daniel Leigh (2010), and Laurence Ball (2013) have argued on this website.

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Topics:  Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  inflation, monetary policy, public debt, seignorage

What are the macroeconomic effects of asset purchases?

Martin Weale, Tomasz Wieladek 10 June 2014

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After policy rates fell close to zero in response to the global financial crisis of 2008-09, the scope for further conventional monetary policy easing was exhausted. As a result, both the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve embarked on large-scale asset purchases of government and financial securities (see Figures 1 and 2).

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Topics:  Monetary policy

Tags:  inflation, Federal Reserve, Phillips curve, Bank of England, quantitative easing, unconventional monetary policy, output

Disagreement about inflation expectations: The case of Japanese households

Shusaku Nishiguchi, Jouchi Nakajima, Kei Imakubo 02 May 2014

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It is well known that inflation expectations vary across agents. Nevertheless, this fact has attracted little attention. Analysis of inflation expectations typically tend to focus on measures such as the mean and the median of such expectations. One of the distinguished exceptions is Mankiw et al. (2003), who discuss in a context of sticky information how the disagreement in US households' inflation expectations was evolving through the Volcker disinflation. Our recent research (Nishiguchi et al. 2014) has brought the disagreement issue once again to the fore.

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Topics:  Monetary policy

Tags:  inflation, Japan, inflation expectations

Is the Phillips curve alive and well after all? Inflation expectations and the missing disinflation

Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko 15 November 2013

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“Prior to the recent deep worldwide recession, macroeconomists of all schools took a negative relation between slack and declining inflation as an axiom. Few seem to have awakened to the recent experience as a contradiction to the axiom.” (Bob Hall, 2013.)

“The surprise [about inflation] is that it’s fallen so little, given the depth and duration of the recent downturn. Based on the experience of past severe recessions, I would have expected inflation to fall by twice as much as it has.” (John Williams, 2010.)

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Topics:  Global crisis Monetary policy

Tags:  inflation, Phillips curve, expectations, oil, global crisis, disinflation, Great Recession

Independent monetary policies, synchronised outcomes

Espen Henriksen, Finn Kydland, Roman Šustek 02 October 2013

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The recession in the Eurozone has given new life to optimal-currency-area thinking. The argument goes that the disadvantages of a single currency come from the loss of flexibility and ability to use monetary policy to respond to “asymmetric shocks” (Krugman and Obstfeld 2009). The often-unarticulated presumption is that countries with independent monetary policies would make different policy decisions as long as contemporaneous shocks to output and employment were asymmetric.

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Topics:  Exchange rates Monetary policy

Tags:  inflation, monetary policy, EMU, Central Banks, capital controls, exchange-rate policy

Why is housing such a popular investment? A new psychological explanation

Thomas Alexander Stephens, Jean-Robert Tyran 23 November 2012

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In the wake of the economic crisis that began in 2007, homeowners in many countries have faced substantial losses. Prices have fallen in both nominal and real terms. In the US, for example, house prices in the first quarter of 2012 were down more than 40% in real terms from their peak (Shiller 2012). Nevertheless, housing remains a popular investment1.

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Topics:  Global economy

Tags:  inflation, house prices, housing

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