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Imperfect Macroeconomic Expectations: Evidence and Theory

George-Marios Angeletos, Zhen Huo, Karthik A. Sastry


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2020, volume 35, Martin Eichenbaum and Erik Hurst, editors
Conference held April 2-3, 2020
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press
in Macroeconomics Annual Book Series

We document a new fact about survey expectations: in response to the main shocks driving the business cycle, expectations of unemployment and inflation under-react initially but over-shoot later on. We show how previous, seemingly conflicting, evidence can be understood as different facets of this fact. We finally explain what the cumulated evidence means for macroeconomic theory. There is little support for theories emphasizing under-extrapolation or two close cousins of it, cognitive discounting and level-K thinking. Instead, the evidence favors the combination of dispersed, noisy information and over-extrapolation.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w27308, Imperfect Macroeconomic Expectations: Evidence and Theory, George-Marios Angeletos, Zhen Huo, Karthik A. Sastry
Commentary on this chapter:
  Comment, Jessica A. Wachter
  Comment, Ricardo Reis
 
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