Individuals' perceptions about past inflation

Last registered on March 19, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Individuals' perceptions about past inflation
Initial registration date
March 14, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 19, 2024, 5:19 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Deutsche Bundesbank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Amsterdam School of Economic
PI Affiliation
University of Bonn

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We embed a randomised control trial (RCT) into a survey representative of the German online population ("Bundesbank-Online-Panel-Households (BOP-HH)"). In the experiment, randomly selected subsets of respondents get information on the current inflation rate. The main idea of the RCT is to establish a causal link between perceived past inflation rates and expected future inflation rates by exogenously shifting individuals' perceptions about past inflation and analyzing the effect of the resulting change in perceptions on inflation expectations.

Registration Citation

Huber, Stefanie J., Daria Minina and Tobias Schmidt. 2024. "Individuals' perceptions about past inflation." AEA RCT Registry. March 19.
Experimental Details


We embedded a randomised control trial (RCT) into a survey representative of the German online population ("Bundesbank-Online-Panel-Households (BOP-HH)"). We randomly split the total sample into four groups. One control group and three treatment groups. While the control group didn't receive any information, each of the treatment groups was shown a text with information regarding the official inflation rate for Germany for the past twelve months. Treatment group 1 receives information about the core inflation rate (excluding energy and food). Treatment groups 2 received information on the consumer price index (CPI) and treatment group 3 on the harmonized consumer price index (HICP), respectively. After the treatment we measured respondents inflation expectations and for a subsample additionally inflation perceptions.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key question is whether changes in inflation perceptions cause changes in inflation expectations. To this end we compare inflation expectations pre-treatment with inflation expectations post-treatment and outcomes across the different treatment groups.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Our outcome variables are directly measured using survey questions

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Randomised Control Trial (RCT) approach with information provision to subgroups of participants in an online survey
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Participants will be randomly assigned to different treatments. The randomization is done by the software in which the questionnaire (CAWI) runs.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
About 2,400 individuals taking the survey for the first time were allocated randomly to 4 approximately equally-sized groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
September 05, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
September 05, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
4 groups with about 600 observations each
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
2,400 individuals
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
about 600
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

This paper documents a strong relationship between households’ perceptions about inflation over the past 12 months and households’ short- and long-term expectations about future inflation. This relationship is strong during periods of high-inflation but even stronger during low-inflation periods. We establish a causal relationship by implementing a randomized information provision experiment in a large and representative survey to generate an exogenous variation in inflation perceptions. Our results show that household perceptions about past inflation drive their expectations about future inflation rates. The strength of the pass-through from perceptions to expectations varies across socioeconomic groups. We identify two critical moderating factors for this heterogeneity; differences in individual uncertainty about future inflation and information acquisition. Further, we show that the large majority of households rely on their shopping experience when forming their perceptions about past inflation and pay particular attention to food and fuel prices. The shopping experience affects inflation expectations indirectly—through perceptions.
Stefanie J. Huber, Daria Minina, Tobias Schmidt (2023), The pass-through from inflation perceptions to inflation expectations, Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper 17/2023, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Reports & Other Materials