Inflation Narratives

Research output: Working paperResearch


We provide evidence on the stories that people tell to explain a historically notable rise in inflation using samples of experts, U.S. households, and managers. We document substantial heterogeneity in narratives about the drivers of higher
inflation rates. Experts put more emphasis on demand-side factors, such as fiscal and monetary policy, and on supply chain disruptions. Other supply-side factors, such as labor shortages or increased energy costs, are equally prominent across
samples. Households and managers are more likely to tell generic stories related to the pandemic or mismanagement by the government. We also find that households and managers expect the increase in inflation to be more persistent than
experts. Moreover, narratives about the drivers of the inflation increase are strongly correlated with beliefs about its persistence. Our findings have implications for understanding macroeconomic expectation formation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages89
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021
SeriesCEBI Working Paper Series

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