Socioeconomic Status and Macroeconomic Expectations
We show that individuals' macroeconomic expectations are influenced by their socioeconomic status (SES). People with higher income or higher education are more optimistic about future macroeconomic developments, including business conditions, the national unemployment rate, and stock market returns. The spread in beliefs between high- and low-SES individuals diminishes significantly during recessions. A comparison with professional forecasters and historical data reveals that the beliefs wedge reflects excessive pessimism on the part of low-SES individuals. SES-driven expectations help explain why higher-SES individuals are more inclined to invest in the stock market and more likely to consider purchasing homes, durable goods, or cars.
Funding for this paper was provided solely by the universities where the authors of the paper have been employed during the development of this work. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Sreyoshi Das & Camelia M Kuhnen & Stefan Nagel, 2020. "Socioeconomic Status and Macroeconomic Expectations," The Review of Financial Studies, vol 33(1), pages 395-432. citation courtesy of