Uma âncora diferente para as expectativas de inflação

A maior recessão dos últimos 70 anos veio acompanhada de uma desinflação bastante modesta. Em Inflation expectations and the missing desinflation, Olivier Coibion e Yuriy Gorodnichenko criticam as explicações de Bernanke e do FMI e sugerem uma hipótese alternativa.

We propose a novel explanation for the missing disinflation that remains fully within the context of traditional Phillips curve analysis (Coibion and Gorodnichenko 2013). We show that an expectations-augmented Phillips curve – using household inflation expectations as measured by the Michigan Survey of Consumers – can account for the absence of strong disinflationary pressures since 2009.

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One unusual implication of our explanation is that the absence of more pronounced disinflation – or even deflation – in advanced economies following the Great Recession likely reflected a unique set of factors (e.g. rapid recoveries in developing economies like China spurring global demand for commodities) which policymakers should not necessarily expect to be repeated in future crises.

To the extent that this rise in inflationary expectations may have prevented the onset of pernicious deflationary dynamics, the rise in oil prices could be interpreted as a lucky break – generating the very rise in inflationary expectations which policymakers have only recently begun to push aggressively toward in the form of forward guidance.

A second unusual feature of this interpretation is that – contrary to Bernanke’s ‘anchored expectations’ hypothesis – we show that household expectations have not been fully anchored, and continue to respond strongly to commodity price changes.

If our explanation is correct, anchored expectations on the part of households and firms would likely have delivered much worse economic outcomes through more pronounced disinflationary dynamics. So while anchored expectations likely remain a desirable outcome in most circumstances, the experience since 2009 presents a cautionary example of the potential downside of fully anchored expectations.

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