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Author:Van der Klaauw, Wilbert 

Journal Article
Improving survey measures of household inflation expectations

Expectations about future inflation are generally thought to play an important role in households' decisions about spending and saving. They are also of great interest to central bankers, who take them into account when determining policy or assessing the effectiveness of communications with the public. To help improve existing survey measures of inflation expectations, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently joined with other institutions and academic consultants to develop a set of survey questions that will yield more reliable information on households' inflation expectations, ...
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 16 , Issue Aug/Sep

Discussion Paper
Whither Mortgages?

Our most recent Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit showed that although total household debt has increased somewhat since 2012, that growth has been driven almost entirely by nonhousing debt?credit cards, auto loans and student loans. The largest category of household debt?mortgages?has been essentially flat since 2012, in spite of a substantial rise in housing prices over that period. In this post, we explore the sources of the sluggish growth in mortgage debt using our New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, which is based on Equifax credit data.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160222

Report
The price is right: updating of inflation expectations in a randomized price information experiment

Understanding the formation of consumer inflation expectations is considered crucial for managing monetary policy. This paper investigates how consumers form and update their inflation expectations using a unique ?information? experiment embedded in a survey. We first elicit respondents? expectations for future inflation either in their own consumption basket or for the economy overall. We then randomly provide a subset of respondents with inflation-relevant information: either past-year food price inflation, or a median professional forecast of next-year overall inflation. Finally, inflation ...
Staff Reports , Paper 543

Discussion Paper
Just Released: Hints of Increased Hardship in America’s Oil-Producing Counties

Today, the New York Fed released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the first quarter of 2016. Overall debt saw one of its larger increases since deleveraging ended, while delinquency rates for the United States continued to improve and remain at very low levels. Although the overall picture of Americans? liabilities has continued to improve since the financial crisis, we wondered what the variation looks like at local levels. One advantage of our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which is based on Equifax credit data, is that we can examine geographic variation in debt and ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160524

Report
An overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations

This report presents an overview of the Survey of Consumer Expectations, a new monthly online survey of a rotating panel of household heads. The survey collects timely information on consumers? expectations and decisions on a broad variety of topics, including but not limited to inflation, household finance, the labor market, and the housing market. There are three main goals of the survey: (1) measuring consumer expectations at a high frequency, (2) understanding how these expectations are formed, and (3) investigating the link between expectations and behavior. This report discusses the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 800

Discussion Paper
Inflation Expectations and Behavior: Do Survey Respondents Act on Their Beliefs?

Surveys of consumers’ inflation expectations are now a key component of monetary policy. To date, however, little work has been done on 1) whether individual consumers act on their beliefs about future inflation, and 2) whether the inflation expectations elicited by these surveys are actually informative about the respondents’ beliefs. In this post, we report on a new study by Armantier, Bruine de Bruin, Topa, van der Klaauw, and Zafar (2010) that investigates these two issues by comparing consumers’ survey-based inflation expectations with their behavior in a financially incentivized ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20110727

Discussion Paper
An Update on How Households Are Using Stimulus Checks

In October, we reported evidence on how households used their first economic impact payments, which they started to receive in mid-April 2020 as part of the CARES Act, and how they expected to use a second stimulus payment. In this post, we exploit new survey data to examine how households used the second round of stimulus checks, issued starting at the end of December 2020 as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and we investigate how they plan to use the third round authorized in March under the American Rescue Plan Act. We find remarkable ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210407

Journal Article
The financial crisis at the kitchen table: trends in household debt and credit

Since the onset of the financial crisis, households have reduced their outstanding debt by about $1.3 trillion. While part of this reduction stemmed from a historic increase in consumer defaults and lender charge-offs, particularly on mortgage debt, other factors were also at play. An analysis of the New York Fed?s Consumer Credit Panel?a rich new data set on individual credit accounts?reveals that households actively reduced their obligations during this period by paying down their current debts and reducing new borrowing. These household choices, along with banks? stricter lending ...
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 19 , Issue April

Discussion Paper
Small Business Owners Turn to Personal Credit

In our first post in this series we showed that mortgage provisions under the CARES ACT and its subsequent extensions resulted in a rapid take-up of mortgage forbearances, under which borrowers had the option to pause or reduce debt service payments without inducing a delinquency notation on their credit reports. Here we examine the forbearance take-up rate of a group of mortgage borrowers we expect to have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic recession: small business owners. Relatively little is known about how small business owners have fared over the past year in terms of their ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210519c

Report
Inflation expectations and behavior: Do survey respondents act on their beliefs?

We compare the inflation expectations reported by consumers in a survey with their behavior in a financially incentivized investment experiment designed such that future inflation affects payoffs. The inflation expectations survey is found to be informative in the sense that the beliefs reported by the respondents are correlated with their choices in the experiment. Furthermore, most respondents appear to act on their inflation expectations showing patterns consistent (both in direction and magnitude) with expected utility theory. Respondents whose behavior cannot be rationalized tend to be ...
Staff Reports , Paper 509

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