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INFLATION PERSISTENCE AND THE RATIONALITY OF INFLATION EXPECTATIONS

 

Sophocles N. Brissimis

University of Piraeus

 

Petros M. Migiakis

Bank of Greece

 

 

Abstract

The rational expectations hypothesis for survey and model-based inflation forecasts − from the Survey of Professional Forecasters and the Greenbook respectively − is examined by properly taking into account persistence in the data. The finding of near-unit-root effects in inflation and inflation expectations motivates the use of a local-to-unity specification of the inflation process that enables us to test whether the data are generated by locally non-stationary or stationary processes. Thus, we test, rather than assume, stationarity of near-unit-root processes. In addition, we set out an empirical framework for assessing relationships between locally non-stationary series. In this context, we test the rational expectations hypothesis by allowing the co-existence of a long-run relationship obtained under the rational expectations restrictions with short-run "learning" effects. Our empirical results indicate that the rational expectations hypothesis holds in the long run, while forecasters adjust their expectations slowly in the short run. This finding lends support to the hypothesis that the persistence of inflation comes from the dynamics of expectations.

 

Keywords: Inflation; rational expectations; high persistence

JEL classification: C50; E31; E52

 

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Sophocles Mavroeidis and George Hondroyiannis for helpful comments and suggestions. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Greece.

 

 

 

Correspondence:

Petros M. Migiakis

Economic Research Department

Bank of Greece

21 El. Venizelou Ave.

10250 Athens, Greece

Tel.: 0030 210 3203587

Email: pmigiakis@bankofgreece.gr

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