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Perceived inflation under loss aversion

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Abstract:

Building on prospect theory, we apply the concept of loss aversion to the formation of inflation perceptions and test empirically for nonlinearities in the inflation-perceptions relation for a panel of 10 Euro area countries. Specifically, under the assumption of loss aversion, inflation changes above a certain reference rate will be perceived more strongly. Rejecting rationality of inflation perceptions in general under symmetric loss and in a majority of cases under flexible loss functions, panel smooth transition models give evidence of nonlinearities in the inflation-perceptions relation regarding both actual inflation and time. This result is confirmed by dynamic fixed effects estimates, where the slope of the estimated value function is significantly steeper in the loss region and the implied average reference inflation rate is found close to 2%.

Keywords: C33; D81; D82; E31; dynamic panel; inflation perceptions; loss aversion; panel smooth transition model

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2013.844328

Affiliations: 1: University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 2: Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt, Germany

Publication date: January 22, 2014

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