Expectations as a Source of Macroeconomic Persistence: An Exploration of Firms' and Households' Expectation Formation
While there is little question that expectations lie at the heart of much economic decision-making, and therefore at the heart of models of the macroeconomy that hope to reflect such decision-making, how such expectations are formed is an open research question. In earlier work, Fuhrer (2015) showed that empirical estimates of a standard dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model preferred inertia in expectations over price indexation or habit formation as a mechanism to explain the persistence of aggregate time series for output, inflation, and interest rates. A question left open in that paper was why and how expectations might exhibit such inertia. This paper examines the expectations behavior of individual responses in the surveys of the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) and the University of Michigan's Survey Research Center to shed light on that question.