537 - Trust in the central bank and inflation expectations

DNB Working Papers
Date 14 December 2016
Using micro data from the 2015 Dutch CentERpanel, we examine whether trust in the European Central Bank (ECB) influences individuals’ expectations and uncertainty about future inflation, and also whether it anchors inflation expectations. We find that higher trust in the ECB lowers inflation expectations on average, and significantly reduces uncertainty about future inflation. Moreover, results from quantile regressions suggest that trusting the ECB increases (lowers) inflation expectations when the latter are below (above) the ECB’s inflation target. These findings hold after controlling for people’s knowledge about the objectives of the ECB. In addition, higher trust in the ECB raises expectations about GDP growth. The findings suggest that a central bank can influence the economy through people’s expectations, even in times when conventional monetary policy tools likely have weak effects.
 
Keywords: inflation expectations, inflation uncertainty, Anchoring, Trust in the ECB, Subjective Expectations.
JEL classifications: D12, D81, E03, E40, E58.