Institute of Money and International Finance Research Research Projects
Inflation Expectations and Economic Preferences

Inflation Expectations and Economic Preferences

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Lena Dräger
Team:  Prof. Dr. Marina Schröder, Prof. Dr. Lena Dräger
Year:  2022
Funding:  Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration:  2022-2025

The aim of this project is to evaluate the relationship between inflation expectations and
financial investors’ risk and time preferences. On the one hand, expected inflation affects
the real value of future income streams and could thereby influence measures of present
bias. On the other hand, cross-sectional variation in inflation expectations may be related
to agents’ degree of optimism or pessimism, which could also affect their risk preferences.
We thus bring together the literature analyzing the forma tion of individuals’ inflation
expectations and the factors contributing to individuals’ present bias or risk preferences. In
this project, we will conduct both survey and laboratory experiments with financial investors
to identify the causal effect of induced variation in inflation expectations on preferences.
In a first subproject, we will use information treatments in a randomized control trial (RCT)
to induce changes in inflation expectations. We will then elicit measures of participants’
time and risk preferences to analyze the effect of changes in inflation expectations caused
by information on preferences. In the second subproject, we will prime participants
randomly with either a “low inflation risk” or a “high inflation risk” treatment to induce
positive or negative emotions regarding inflation. We will then measure the change in
inflation expectations induced by the priming exercise to test for the role of emotions in
shaping the effect of participants’ inflation expectations on time and risk preferences. In
the third subproject, we will conduct two laboratory experiments to analyze the behavioral
effect of experimentally induced inflation on risk and intertemporal preferences controlling
for the financial implications of inflation.