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Do You Know That I Know That You Know...? Higher-Order Beliefs in Survey Data

Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Saten Kumar, Jane Ryngaert

NBER Working Paper No. 24987
Issued in September 2018
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Monetary Economics

We implement a new survey of firms, focusing on their higher-order macroeconomic expectations. The survey provides a novel set of stylized facts regarding the relationship between first-order and higher-order expectations of economic agents, including how they adjust their beliefs in response to a variety of information treatments and how these adjustments affect their economic decisions. We show how these facts can be used to calibrate key parameters of noisy-information models with infinite regress as well as to test predictions made by this class of models. The survey also quantifies cognitive limits of agents in the form of level-k thinking. We find little evidence that this departure from infinite regress helps reconcile the data and theory.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24987

 
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