DP14557 Aggregate Risk or Aggregate Uncertainty? Evidence from UK Households

Author(s): Claudio Michelacci, Luigi Paciello
Publication Date: April 2020
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Programme Areas: Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14557

Using the Bank of England Inflation Attitudes Survey we find that households with preferences for higher inflation and higher interest rates have lower expected inflation. The wedge is mildly correlated with existing measures of uncertainty and increases after major economic events such as the failure of Lehman Brothers or the Brexit referendum. We interpret the wedge as due to Knightian uncertainty about future monetary policy and the underlying economic environment. If households had treated uncertainty as measurable risk, consumption and output would have been around 1 percent higher both during the Great Recession and in recent years.