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Andreas Hackethal

8 February 2024
We study the redistributive effects of surprise inflation combining administrative bank data with an information provision experiment during an episode of historic inflation. On average, households are well-informed about prevailing inflation and are concerned about its impact on their wealth; yet, while many households know about inflation eroding nominal assets, most are unaware of nominal-debt erosion. Once they receive information on the debt-erosion channel, households view nominal debt more positively and increase estimates of their own real net wealth. These changes causally affect actual consumption and hypothetical debt decisions. Our findings suggest that real wealth mediates the sensitivity of consumption to inflation once households are aware of the wealth effects of inflation
JEL Code
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
ECB Lamfalussy Fellowship Programme