April 2017

Understanding survey based inflation expectations

Travis J. Berge


Survey based measures of inflation expectations are not informationally efficient yet carry important information about future inflation. This paper explores the economic significance of informational inefficiencies of survey expectations. A model selection algorithm is applied to the inflation expectations of households and professionals using a large panel of macroeconomic data. The expectations of professionals are best described by different indicators than the expectations of households. A forecast experiment finds that it is difficult to exploit informational inefficiencies to improve inflation forecasts, suggesting that the economic cost of the surveys' deviation from rationality is not large.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: Informational efficiency, Phillips curve, Survey based inflation expectations, boosting, inflation forecasting, machine learning

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2017.046

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: January 09, 2020