. P.S. That is, once workers’ expectations of price inflation have had time to adjust, the natural rate of unemployment is compatible with any rate of inflation. Rational expectations ensure internal consistency in models involving uncertainty. Rational expectations are the best guess for the future. The basic premise of rational choice theory is that aggregate social behavior results from the behavior of individual actors, each of â¦ What I find difficult to get with this, is the assumption that everyone has the same expectations (or the same method of forming expectations). Here's a simple example. They do not realize right away that their purchasing power has fallen because prices have risen more rapidly than they expected. The real wage is constant: workers who expect a given rate of price inflation insist that their wages increase at the same rate to prevent the erosion of their purchasing power. Edmund Phelps had a 1983 book that made many of the same arguments as Manski. Rational expectations does not imply individual rationality and should not be confused with rational choice theory, which is used extensively in, among others, game theory. No doubt, the theory of rational expectations is a major breakthrough in â¦ Do you think that factors into macro as well? The rational expectations theory is a concept and theory used in macroeconomics. Given its heterodox perspective, probably not very well. Suppose that machine B actually has odds of 55% win, 45% lose. Rational Expectations Theory and Macroeconomic Analysis â¢Implications of rational expectations for macroeconomic analysis: 1.Expectations that are rational use all available information, which includes any information about government policies, such as changes in monetary or fiscal policy 2.Only new information causes expectations â¦ To form rational expectations agents must know the true structure and probability distribution of the economy. Loosely speaking, in the model mathematically you already know what the true 'future distribution' is (it is a fundamental part of the model). Friedman’s and Phelps’s analyses provide a distinction between the “short-run” and “long-run” Phillips curves. It is well known in certain ciricles that I deserve to be shot, but who the heck is Henry?JBR, This must be a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid moment - "who are those guys? Your model works very well to fit the data.2) But as agents (firms, investors , central banks) learn your model, they'll revise the way they form their expectations.3) You adapt your model to include the new process of expectation formation.4) Iterate from step 1.I guess in the end, you'll converge to RE as a unique fixed point. One troublesome aspect is the place of rational expectations macroeconomics in the often political debate over Keynesian economics. And as for "aggregate expectations" being on average correct, can this be meaningful. He speak seven languages fluently. If it makes the model less able to fit the data at the end of the day, well..."all models are wrong", right? And then they should be held to what they identified as a falsifying condition should it be found. I should have made clear, gambling in lotteries, roulette, etc, where the odds are published, and are against the person placing the bet. So long as the average rate of inflation remains fairly constant, as it did in the 1960s, inflation and unemployment will be inversely related. The greatest criticism against rational expectations is that it is unrealistic to say and to assert that individual expectations are essentially the same as the predictions of the relevant economic theory. I think the key word in your statement is "tends:"The market tends to be right until it's wrong. Surely, the one thing we know for sure is that "views of the world differ" - hell, even journalists know that. With rational expectations, people always learn from past mistakes. NAIRU should not vary with monetary and fiscal policies, which affect aggregate demand without altering these real factors. For a short time, workers suffer from what economists call money illusion: they see that their money wages have risen and willingly supply more labor. Noahpinion continues at noahpinion.substack.com, I'm sure I'm being terribly naive, but why is rational expectations any easier to put into your model than some-other-expectations? Home › 7) Economic Theory › Rational Expectations, Lucas Critique and NAIRU. Imagine that unemployment is at the natural rate. However what if people pick the youghurt because it is on the eye level? So this kind of limited knowledge makes Rational Expectations especially difficult to swallow in the context of macro. Will somebody please explain how anyone can believe in "rational expectations" in a world in which gambling is rife? Post GFC, it could have a new audience.Henry. I am a rational, mathematically and commercially sophisticated millionaire. Rational expectations undermines the idea that policymakers can manipulate the economy by systematically making the public have false expectations. Which early papers are you thinking of? Since you obviously are ignorant of anything in macro from the past 30 years, I suggest you look at the work by Marios Angeletos, Kristoffer Nimark, Todd Walker, and many others on heterogeneous expectations. The rest, not at all.And it is hilarious you ask Noah about macroeconomics. Thus, if the government’s policies caused the unemployment rate to stay at about 7 percent, the 3 percent inflation rate would, on average, be reduced one point each year—falling to zero in about three years. We explain useful concepts behind, like NAIRU and the expectations-augment Philips curve. And if not, why not? George Dorgan (penname) predicted the end of the EUR/CHF peg at the CFA Society and at many occasions on SeekingAlpha.com and on this blog. Criticisms of Monetarist Revolution: The more quickly workers’ expectations of price inflation adapt to changes in the actual rate of inflation, the more quickly unemployment will return to the natural rate, and the less successful the government will be in reducing unemployment through monetary and fiscal policies. Basically mimicking the look of science (Much as an "intelligent design" "scientist" tries to mimic actual science and skepticism in his "work"), but in reality just "politics by other means," essentially only a rhetorical device, to be used for buttressing already held political arguments of the faithful and completely uninterested in discovery, belief revision, apportioning realistic confidence to the empirical evidence, and finding out what's actually true about economic reality? I use pachinko machine A every time. that's RE in a nutshell, Because the objective function being maximized is not just about money. Are macro professionals overly tolerant of bullshit? RE fails? In their view, real wages would adjust to make the supply of labor equal to the demand for labor, and the unemployment rate would then stand at a level uniquely associated with that real wage—the “natural rate” of unemployment.Both Friedman and Phelps argued that the government could not permanently trade higher inflation for lower unemployment. No? MARKUS KRALL: VERMÖGEN WIRD VERPULVERT!! It's well known that simple heuristics preform very well in complex environments - experienced option trader beats the best quant (unless the dimensionality of the underlying problem is low, which requires infinite liquidity).The quest for realism will only find noise. Click to expand, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation based on CPI,  The real-world economic blog: The ergodic axiom: Davidson versus Stiglitz and Lucas. I'm moving on to a new platform: Substack ! Manski says that, basically, it's because A) it's easy, and B) there's no obviously better alternative..."I don't get it. The models miss because they arbitrarily choose one singular particular view of the future to be the "rational" one and assume that all others are random aberrations whose differences from the chosen norm average to zero. They have revolutionised economic thinking through the rational expectations hypothesis, e.g., the rational expectationists deny the possibility of any inflation-unemployment trade-off even in the short run. Economists regard the above views of the monetarists as revolutionary. Rational Expectations basically say that economic agents behave as if the true model of the economy is the same as the model the economist is currently writing down. Saying the market "tends" to be right is like saying the earth tends to revolve around the sun. I once used a computer to solve a thirty year optimization problem to find the optimal strategy between investing in an IRA vs. using the money to pay down my mortgage. This all very much reminds me of one famous quip allegedly made by JMK, about making what economists do as useless as possible. And if you look at some of the original RE papers it is never clear what probability space each expectation is taken over. ", he says. And if you're not interested in finding out what people's expectations are, you could follow convention and say they expect what you expect, or equally easily you could be a maverick and say they expect what one of your colleagues expects instead. Homogeneous Expectations: An assumption in Markowitz Portfolio Theory that all investors will have the same expectations and make the same choices given a particular set of circumstances. Noah, you too. The policy-ineffectiveness proposition (PIP) is a new classical theory proposed in 1976 by Thomas J. Sargent and Neil Wallace based upon the theory of rational expectations. These tests rejected the rational expectations. So do we really want to say it DOESN'T MATTER in aggregate how many people are wrong, and how wrong they are? In your example you would begin with sampling rates 1/(1+e^11) for A and e^1/(1+e^11) for b.That's what the physical world does to minimize energy and maximize entropy. Well, the fact that we use RE rests on internal consistency:1) Assume you build a model which does not make use of RE. The idea of rational expectations was first discussed by John F. Muth in 1961. – MARKUS KRALL ÜBER UNGLEICHGEWICHTE, ENTEIGNUNG & KRISE…, Rational Expectations, Lucas Critique and NAIRU, https://snbchf.com/economic-theory/lucas-critique-nairu-rational-expectations/. 'Very interesting stuff, even if a decade old': now what does that say about economics as a science, that it is deemed remarkable that a one decade old article could still be interesting? Now, if there are lots of people playing on lots of machines and we can all observe each other, it's clear that we'll figure out the odds of all the machines. But I can't see why it's easier. I think prospect theory gave a pretty good answer to that question. Permanent link to this article: https://snbchf.com/economic-theory/lucas-critique-nairu-rational-expectations/. Rotemberg statistically tested some macroeconomic models of rational expectations in 1984 on the basis of the three hypotheses viz., expectations are rational, markets continuously clear and aggregate supply, of the new classical theory. Just as the earth revolves around the sun, the market is always right.Henry. He sees a deer. "I really don't see why the economics profession doesn't insist on all theoretical framework derived claims about reality being falsifiable. You need to engage in the kind of reasoning you offered above.Sadly, after hearing people bitch about RE for so long I fear people have become numb to valid criticisms. Thanks. ), Rational expectations has its limitations, but it's the least awful model . There seems to be a lot of handwaving about aggregation, or maybe that's just my own take on it as I am no economist. Which of the following is a valid criticism of the rational expectations theory? (Preis bald 100.000 EURO?? The problem is that such models define "rational" in a totally arbitrary, unscientific manner. Since most macroeconomic models today study decisions over many periods, the expectations of workers, consumers and firms about future â¦ However, the idea was not widely used in macroeconomics until the new classical revolution of the early 1970s, popularized by Robert Lucas and T. Sergeant. The question should be, how was it received 10 years ago in pre-GFC times? The expectation in the 1970s was that wages must rise more quickly than prices (positive real wages) or for employers that sales prices must increase more quickly than wages. But, over time, as workers come to anticipate higher rates of price inflation, they supply less labor and insist on increases in wages that keep up with inflation. The rational expectations hypothesis was further developed in macroeconomic theory by Lucas (1972, 1976) and Sargent and Wallace (1975) and has been broadly accepted. | Sparkojote, Geld & Gold mit Lars Erichsen ⭐ | Sparkojote, FX Daily, December 1: No Follow-Through After Month-End Adjustments, That Precious Metals Rumor Mill, 30 November, Five lessons from the Swiss ‘responsible business’ vote. And suppose that I think that if I use pachinko machine B, I'll win with a 40% chance and lose with a 60% chance. Other articles where Theory of rational expectations is discussed: business cycle: Rational expectations theories: In the early 1970s the American economist Robert Lucas developed what came to be known as the âLucas critiqueâ of both monetarist and Keynesian theories of the business cycle. rational expectations are a forward-looking approach. But if the average rate of inflation changes, as it will when policymakers persistently try to push unemployment below the natural rate, after a period of adjustment, unemployment will return to the natural rate. "A'mous,Depending on our prior's, this may take some time. Grandmont's model (here is his Econometrica paper http://www.jstor.org/stable/2999573?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents 1998 "Expectations Formation and Stability of Large Socioeconomic Systems") shows that learning can be chaotic if people's expectations can affect the outcome -- which, duh!, happens a lot in markets! The policy-ineffectiveness proposition (PIP) is a new classical theory proposed in 1976 by Thomas J. Sargent and Neil Wallace based upon the theory of rational expectations. [again, the precise maths is much more complex, but the intuition is similar], It is obvious from a subjectivist probability interpretation though. Augmented expectations for inflation had the following formula: Most economists now accept a central tenet of both Friedman’s and Phelps’s analyses: there is some rate of unemployment that, if maintained, would be compatible with a stable rate of inflation. Clearly, NAIRU is not constant. price and quality) then we may assume that since the "preferred" youghurt is more expensive than the other alternative, it probably has higher quality (it tastes better, it lasts longer etc.). The ‘Lucas critique’ is a criticism of econometric policy evaluation procedures that fail to recognize that optimal decision rules of economic agents vary systematically with changes in policy. When tested jointly, the joint â¦ Suppose I think that if I use pachinko machine A, I'll win with a 51% chance and lose with a 49% chance. Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Rational Expectations Theory and its Limitations in 21 st Century Macroeconomic Policy Discourse Definition of Rational expectations â an economic theory that states â when making decisions, individual agents will base their decisions on the best information available and learn from past trends. If those expectations matter then the people with wrong expectations will suffer in some way relative to those with more correct expectations. What would have happened if we had stayed on the gold standard in the Great Depression? Many, however, call this the “nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment” (NAIRU) because, unlike the term “natural rate,” NAIRU does not suggest that an unemployment rate is socially optimal, unchanging, or impervious to policy. What if they pick it because everybody else is picking it and noone wants to try the other brand that is in fact more tasty (the example you use in the article)? I suppose it's hard in a way to be unfashionable, but non-reflexive models shouldn't be any harder to work with. It summarizes the rough inverse relationship. In the Pachenko machine example shouldn't you sample both machines with relative rates e^[best estimate of expected return] to balance information gain with immediate pay-off? I think most people who use blood letting would say the same thing.". data on inï¬ation expectations for evidence of this type of dynamic predictor selection. "Categories of criticism of the rational expectations theory," Working Papers 49, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, revised 1975. In other words, economic agents just have no physical way of learning about all of the possible outcomes in an economy that never end up happening. Why is this a critique? And indeed, while in the introduction his assumptions seem very mild, later on he makes an implicit strong assumption about the agents knowledge: that they have an internal view of the process. Basically, substituting theoretical assumptions for empirical results makes a model a more hardened target. So for instance one may assume that if people buy some particular brand of youghurt in the supermarket and our model only contains certain parameters (e.g. Manski says that, basically, it's because A) it's easy, and B) there's no obviously better alternative: I'd add a third, more cynical reason: Rational Expectations can't be challenged on data grounds. If there is a change in the way a variable is determined, then people immediately change their expectations regarding future values of this variable even before seeing any actual changes in this variable. The critique is that there are good reasons to believe that in many cases, Rational Expectations doesn't well describe what's going on. A mainstream criticism of rational expectations theory is that: Many markets are not purely competitive and do not adjust rapidly to changing market conditions. If the agents in the economy can't in principle figure out the model, how did the economist do so? Henry goes hunting and hopefully shoots himself and Rosser. This ârational expectations revolution,â as it was later termed, fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics. Now, imagine that the government uses expansionary monetary or fiscal policy in an attempt to lower unemployment below its natural rate. If I understand this: (1) rational expectations says that economic agents have an expectation of the probability distribution of possible future outcomes that would result from decisions they might make now and as time passes and future possibilities become current realities; and (2) at every moment in time, the man in the street seeks to maximize the present value of some objective function by solving the resulting non-linear optimization problem in his head. Anything interesting is relevant to me. Donate to SNBCHF.com Via Paypal or Bitcoin To Help Keep the Site Running, Please consider making a small donation to Snbchf.com. inflation and unemployment are in a linear (inverse) relationship, The ergodic axiom: Davidson versus Stiglitz and Lucas, Weekly SNB Sight Deposits and Speculative Positions: SNB selling euros and dollars, Romeo Lacher and Christoph Mäder nominated for election to the SNB Bank Council, SNB Profit in Q1 to Q3 2020: CHF 15.1 billion Despite Covid19, SNB Balance Sheet Now Over 100 percent GDP, CHF Price Movements: Correlations between CHF and the German Economy. But the price inflation and wage inflation brought on by expansionary policies continue at the new, higher rates. Now suppose that I'm right about the odds of machine A (which I confirm by multiple uses), but wrong about machine B. I think most people who use rational expectations would say the same thing. The rational expectations critique against Austrian business cycle theory only really works if all--or at least an overwhelming majority of--entrepreneurs are "rational" in the very strict sense implied by rational expectations theory.Introducing a reasonable handful of less "rational" entrepreneurs into the mix allows for the conclusions of Austrian business cycle theory â¦ O/T: Noah, philosophy Harry Frankfurt discusses bullshit, and says that society is remarkably tolerant of it (in contrast to their disapproval of lying). The 1970s provided striking confirmation of Friedman’s and Phelps’s fundamental point. I suppose in a stochastic world anything is possible.Henry. The general confusion here is that complex, multi dimensional dgp requires equally complex representation and optimization rules. That's interesting. I think the point you brought up about how we should be suspect of rational expectations when we move from certain kinds of micro questions is exactly the sort of thing economists should be doing more of.However, I think one of the major reasons RE is so resistant to such concerns is the long history of unjustified opposition to RE. If you measure expectations with surveys, people can poke holes not just in your theoretical model, but in the expectations data that you gathered and the econometric methods that you used to extract a signal from it. It's the one that most agrees with the empirical data of how markets react to news and policy .The market tends to be right even if individuals are clueless. Prior models had assumed that people respond passively to changes in fiscal and monetary policy; in rational-expectations models, people behave strategically, not robotically. Sort of a "Bayesian Expectations" instead of "Rational Expectations" technique.http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/~chris/papers/EPP070306.pdfJobert, Platania, and Rogers at the Cambridge Statistical Labootory. Realizing that actual people aren't rational isn't enough to make RE a bad assumption. But many economic models are macro models. But that model includes stochastic processes. Rational choice theory, also known as theory of rational choice, choice theory or rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior. The original Phillips curve, that maintains that inflation and unemployment are in a linear (inverse) relationship, was not valid any more. It posited that monetary policy could not systematically manage the â¦ Let us imagine expectations are different, so that some people have expectations that are too low, some people too high and some people about right, and people act on those expectations. During the 1960s and 1970s, other theorists (Blau, Coleman, and Cook) extended and enlarged his framework and helped to develop a more formal model of rational â¦ The question is what fails less. 19. Rational choice theory was pioneered by sociologist George Homans, who in 1961 laid the basic framework for exchange theory, which he grounded in hypotheses drawn from behavioral psychology. These long-run and short-run relations can be combined in a single “expectations-augmented” Phillips curve. Noah, are you similarly sympathetic to Robinson's critique of aggregate production functions? Might be of interest to you. Preston J. Miller & Clarence W. Nelson & Thomas M. Supel, 1975. Thank you for providing the correct name for this problem. "What about the Baring Crisis 0f 1890s?What about the Great Depression?What about the Great Recession?What about every recession you can think of?Henry. (Are we assuming everybody is fully hedged?). I believe this paper by Chiappori and Ekeland (2006) brings some interesting answers. In other words, interest rates in money markets do not accurately measure agents' expectations of future incomes and prices. "Clearly this rifle is becoming more accurate.". So Manski is calling for an active search for alternatives, instead of contentment with what we've got. I should be using machine B, but I never do, so I never find out that I'm wrong, and I keep making the wrong decision! "...there are good reasons to believe that in many cases, Rational Expectations doesn't well describe what's going on. Rational Expectations requires a belief that while individuals may not obey it, the economy as a whole does. IMO issue is not whether expectations are rational or irrational. Criticisms of rational expectations. The latter fact kind of assumes the conclusion. Somebody, I forget who, said that rational expectations is the assumption that everyone understands how the economy works - except for economists. "An exogenous event", he exclaims, "the rifle will work next time".Henry. Noah, in your opinion, what percentage of macro (by any measure: # of papers, # of practitioners, etc) is anti-science or pseudo-science? Your email address will not be published. Thus, the unemployment rate falls. Robert Lucas showed that if expectations are rational, it simply is not possible for the government to manipulate those forecast errors in a predictable and reliable way for the very reason that the errors made by a rational forecaster are inherently unpredictable. 'Interesting =/= relevant': what would you consider interesting but irrelevant research? Thus, the expectations of the market as a whole can be rational without making the highly unlikely assumption that every single individual forms rational expectations. Henry. Rational Expectations forces you to assume that economic agents are making all the same. To form rational expectations agents must know the true structure and We've got a bunch of theories about how economies behave, so why is it easier to plug theories into their own "expectations" slots than into other theories' slots? Yep, Bayesian expectations = the main alternative people have considered. Using similar, but more refined, methods, the Congressional Budget Office estimated (Figure 3) that NAIRU was about 5.3 percent in 1950, that it rose steadily until peaking in 1978 at about 6.3 percent, and that it then fell steadily to about 5.2 by the end of the century. 4 (Winter 2007) In contemporary economic theory, and especially in macroeconomics, expectations are being given a central place. "So why does everyone and their dog use Rational Expectations? "If it makes the model less able to fit the data at the end of the day, well..."all models are wrong", right? ? "You mean that you believe this. That's irrelevant. The slope of the Phillips curve indicates the speed of price adjustment. Lâ¦ There is virtually no economic model that does not examine how, within a dynamic perspective, the explicit account of individualsâ expectations qualifies the conclusions of the static â¦ Forecasts are unbiased, anâ¦ The real issue is that banking and the exogenous nature of the monetary base may prevent expectations, be they rational or irrational, from accurately aggregating into macro interest rates. Why is this a critique? The tech bubble a decade earlier? The expectations-augmented Phillips curve is the straight line that best fits the points on the graph (the regression line). Finally, the criticism of the hypothesis on the grounds of rationality undermines the basis of economics: The idea that the typical individual is capable of making the â¦ "magic assumptions about aggregation"It may be that the man in the street is trying to "implement" rational expectations (knowing that he is working with incomplete and unreliable information) and a lot of interesting stuff results from him getting it wrong because of delayed or incomplete information. All of Austrian/Post-Keynesian "macro" is like that. expectations, since they are informed predictions of future events, are essentially the same as the predictions of the relevant economic theory.3 At the risk of confusing this purely descriptive hypothesis with a pronounce-ment as to what firms ought to do, we call such expectations "rational." (source Wiki). As you can see in the comments here, because so-called "rational expectations" modeling was the first popular way of taking into account that people look forward, there's a tendency in economics forums to treat "rational expectations" and "forward-looking" as synonymous, and to worry that critiques of "rational expectationsâ¦ What do I do? We can make guesses, but we'll never really know. It posited that monetary policy could not systematically manage the levels of output and employment in the economy. In fact, there is much more to mention. Building on rational expectations â¦ The resulting increase in demand encourages firms to raise their prices faster than workers had anticipated. Ratex guy reloads and fires again, and this time he gets a hit. And it just so happens that those who are periodically wrong-footed tend to be the 99% -- and that wrong-footedness enriches the 1%. Or similar but slightly different learning-based models. As Karl Popper would ask "can we find situations/conditions where it is possible to test/challenge the model?" Cliffs: RE is pretty good and can be improved, in some cases, by incorporating elicited expectations. The long-run Phillips curve could be shown here as a vertical line above the natural rate. The original curve would then apply only to brief, transitional periods and would shift with any persistent change in the average rate of inflation. Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:49 A. prices do not wait on events B. the assumption seems too strong C. people form the most accurate possible expectations D. â¦ Noah, you might enjoy another nearly-decade old paper in a similar vein. This was in an era when REH had even more of a stronghold. Which means you need some basically magic assumptions about aggregation. But if you assume Rational Expectations, they can only poke holes in the model itself. Assume that the economy is in â¦ So, restated:The market TENDS to be rational but it ALWAYS enriches TPTB. Contrary to the original Phillips curve, when the average inflation rate rose from about 2.5 percent in the 1960s to about 7 percent in the 1970s, the unemployment rate not only did not fall, it actually rose from about 4 percent to above 6 percent. I wrote a Twitter thread about this a while back, but it got deleted in a periodic wipe, so I thought I'd reprise it here for poster... What is MMT, the heterodox economic theory that has captivated Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , made its way into the Green New Deal discu... Rabbits make great friends. the rational expectations theory are not m ore thorough in their analysis of expectations than was Keynes, Pigou, and Hicks were or, for that matter, Savage ,de Finetti ,and Ramsey. Neuer Bitcoin Höchststand… jetzt all-in gehen!? "A technology shock! The rational expectations hypothesis, however, does not imply that every man anticipates the â¦ [this explanation slightly abuses the meaning of 'variable' and 'equation', but the general idea is there], If you ever solved the Solow model, it is similar to how it is easy enough to solve the steady-state (or even balanced growth path), but much more difficult to say things about what happens out of steady-state. A policymaker might wish to place a value on NAIRU. In economics, "rational expectations" are model-consistent expectations, in that agents inside the model are assumed to "know the model" and on average take the model's predictions as valid. "Henry, "Henry goes hunting and hopefully shoots himself and Rosser. Why is this a critique?Because it is an example of the street light effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streetlight_effect. Noah: Now I really cannot believe what I say now, but given recent articles you really passed an opportunity to throw another bone to Austrian economists, at least the sane ones. "Henry goes hunting and hopefully shoots himself and Rosser.`A'mous,Hate to point this out, but you can't even get the order of proceedings correct. Le... Well folks, it's been a fun 10-year run at this little website. They argued that well-informed, rational employers and workers would pay attention only to real wages—the inflation-adjusted purchasing power of money wages. Imagine that the economy is at NAIRU with an inflation rate of 3 percent and that the government would like to reduce the inflation rate to zero. It's more elegant, of course, as Manski says.