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Author:Pfajfar, Damjan 

Working Paper
When is the Fiscal Multiplier High? A Comparison of Four Business Cycle Phases

We synthesize the recent, at times conflicting, empirical literature regarding whether fiscal policy is more effective during certain points in the business cycle. Evidence of state dependence in the multiplier depends critically on how the business cycle is defined. Estimates of the fiscal multiplier do not change when the unemployment rate is above or below its trend. However, we find that the multiplier is higher when the unemployment rate is increasing relative to when it is decreasing. This result holds using both a long time-series at the U.S. national level and for a panel of U.S. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-026

Working Paper
Pricing decisions in an experimental dynamic stochastic general equilibrium economy

We construct experimental economies, populated with human subjects, with a structure based on a nonlinear version of the New Keynesian Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model. We analyze the behavior of firms' pricing decisions in four different experimental economies. We consider how well the experimental data conform to a number of accepted empirical stylized facts. Pricing patterns mostly conform to these patterns. Most price changes are positive, and inflation is strongly correlated with average magnitude, but not the frequency, of price changes. Prices are affected negatively ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-93

Working Paper
Consumers' Attitudes and Their Inflation Expectations

This paper studies consumers' inflation expectations using micro-level data from the Surveys of Consumers conducted by University of Michigan. It shows that beyond the well-established socio-economic factors such as income, age or gender, other characteristics such as the households' financial situation and their purchasing attitudes are important determinants of their forecast accuracy. Respondents with current or expected financial difficulties, pessimistic attitudes about major purchases, or expectations that income will go down in the future have a stronger upward bias in their ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-15

Working Paper
The Role of Expectations in Changed Inflation Dynamics

The Phillips curve has been much flatter in the past twenty years than in the preceding decades. We consider two hypotheses. One is that prices at the microeconomic level are stickier than they used to be---in the context of the canonical Calvo model, firms are adjusting prices less often. The other is that the expectations of firms and households about future inflation are now less well informed by macroeconomic conditions; because expectations are important in the setting of current-period prices, inflation is therefore less sensitive to macroeconomic conditions. To distinguish between our ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-062

Working Paper
Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy Design: Evidence from the Laboratory

Using laboratory experiments within a New Keynesian framework, we explore the interaction between the formation of inflation expectations and monetary policy design. The central question in this paper is how to design monetary policy when expectations formation is not perfectly rational. Instrumental rules that use actual rather than forecasted inflation produce lower inflation variability and reduce expectational cycles. A forward-looking Taylor rule where a reaction coefficient equals 4 produces lower inflation variability than rules with reaction coefficients of 1.5 and 1.35. Inflation ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-45

Working Paper
Inflation and Deflationary Biases in Inflation Expectations

We explore the consequences of losing confidence in the price-stability objective of central banks by quantifying the inflation and deflationary biases in inflation expectations. In a model with an occasionally binding zero-lower-bound constraint, we show that an inflation bias as well as a deflationary bias exist as a steady-state outcome. We assess the predictions of this model using unique individual-level inflation expectations data across nine countries that allow for a direct identification of these biases. Both inflation and deflationary biases are present (and sizable) in inflation ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-042

Working Paper
Duration Dependence, Monetary Policy Asymmetries, and the Business Cycle

We produce business cycle chronologies for U.S. states and evaluate the factors that change the probability of moving from one phase to another. We find strong evidence for positive duration dependence in all business cycle phases but find that the effect is modest relative to other state- and national-level factors. Monetary policy shocks also have a strong influence on the transition probabilities in a highly asymmetric way. The effect of policy shocks depends on the current state of the cycle as well as the sign and size of the shock.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-020

Working Paper
Are Survey Expectations Theory-Consistent? The Role of Central Bank Communication and News

In this paper we analyze whether central bank communication can facilitate the understanding of key economic concepts. Using survey data for consumers and professionals, we calculate how many of them have expectations consistent with the Fisher Equation, the Taylor rule and the Phillips curve and test, by accounting for three different communication channels, whether central banks can influence those. A substantial share of participants has expectations consistent with the Fisher equation, followed by the Taylor rule and the Phillips curve. We show that having theory-consistent expectations ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-35

Journal Article
Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics | 2019 CEBRA Annual Meeting Session Summary

The relationship between the Phillips curve and inflation has become weaker over time, producing questions regarding how policymakers might connect inflation to the rest of the economy. Presentations given during the “Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics” session of the Central Bank Research Association’s annual meeting focused on the intersection of monetary policy and inflation dynamics to examine the ways in which policy might impact inflation and related expectations and processes. This Economic Commentary summarizes the papers presented during this session.
Economic Commentary , Volume 2020 , Issue 14 , Pages 3

Working Paper
The Hidden Heterogeneity of Inflation Expectations and its Implications

Using a new consumer survey dataset, we document a new dimension of heterogeneity in inflation expectations that has implications for consumption and saving decisions as well as monetary policy transmission. We show that German households with the same inflation expectations differently assess whether the level of expected inflation and of nominal interest rates is appropriate or too high/too low. The `hidden heterogeneity' in expectations stemming from these opinions is related to demographic characteristics and affects current and planned spending in addition to the Euler equation effect of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-054


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