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Working Paper

The Expectations of Others

Based on a framework of memory and recall that accounts for social networks, we provide conditions under which social networks can amplify expectations. We provide evidence for several predictions of the model using a novel dataset on inflation expectations and social network connections: Inflation expectations in the social network are statistically significantly, positively associated with individual inflation expectations; the relationship is stronger for groups that share common demographic characteristics, such as gender, income, or political affiliation. An instrumental variable approach further establishes causality of these results while also showing that salient information transmits strongly through the network. Our estimates imply that the influence of the social network overall amplifies but does not destabilize inflation expectations.


Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Garcia-Lembergman, Ezequiel, Ina Hajdini, John Leer, Mathieu Pedemonte, and Raphael S. Schoenle. 2023. “The Expectations of Others.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 23-22.