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Sebastian Rast

Research Economist

De Nederlandsche Bank

I am a Research Economist in the Monetary Policy Department at De Nederlandsche Bank.

I obtained my PhD at the European University Institute in Florence under the supervision of Evi Pappa and Leonardo Melosi. During my PhD, I visited the University of California at Berkeley and have been a PhD Trainee in the Monetary Policy Strategy Division at the European Central Bank.

My research interests include macroeconomics, monetary policy, applied macroeconometrics and inflation expectations. You can find my CV here.

Note: This is my personal webpage and the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official position of De Nederlandsche Bank or the Eurosystem.

Education

  • PhD in Economics, 2022

    European University Institute

  • Visiting PhD student, 2019

    University of California, Berkeley

  • Master in Economics, 2015

    Barcelona Graduate School of Economics

  • BSc in Economics, 2014

    University of Mannheim

Working papers

Long-run inflation expectations

We estimate a model of individual long-run inflation expectations when inflation follows a trend-cycle time series process with panel data from the U.S. Survey of Professional Forecasters. We use our model to study average long-run expectations when individual forecasters know the inflation process, observe inflation and receive common and idiosyncratic signals about long-run inflation. We find coordination of sentiments around the inflation target prevented expectations from becoming unanchored in the face of inflation running persistently below target in the 2010s. We apply our model to study the case of a U.S. central banker setting policy in December 2015 when inflation had been running below target for many years, and in December 2022 when it had been running very hot for a year and a half. We find that if the projections from the Fed’ December Summary of Economic Projections were realized they would be inconsistent with preventing long-run inflation expectations from become unanchored. This is so even with sentiments coordinated in a manner consistent with their historical behavior. In the most recent episode we find that the common signal is relatively imprecise and so it is even harder for sentiments about long-run inflation to be coordinated.

Central Bank Communication with the General Public: Survey Evidence from Germany

This paper studies the effect of different types of monetary policy announcements on household inflation expectations based on micro data from a survey of German households. As a key feature, interviews of the survey were conducted both shortly before and after monetary policy events. This timing provides a natural experiment to identify the immediate effects of policy announcements on household inflation expectations. The availability of the survey over a period of 15 years further allows me to exploit the time-series dimension to estimate the medium-term effects of policy announcements. Policy rate announcements lead to quick and significant adjustments in household inflation expectations. Announcements about forward guidance and quantitative easing, by contrast, have no or only smaller and delayed effects.

Uncovering the heterogenous effects of news shocks to underlying inflation

We identify in a SVAR shocks that best explain future movements in different measures of underlying inflation over a five-year horizon and label them as news augmented shocks to underlying inflation. Independently of the measure used, such shocks raise the nominal rate and inflation persistently, while they induce mild and short-lived increases in economic activity. The extracted inflation shocks have differential distributional effects. They increase significantly and persistently the consumption of mortgagors and home owners. Differently from the traditional monetary policy disturbances, news augmented shocks to underlying inflation induce a positive wealth effect for mortgagors and home owners, driven by a reduction in the real mortgage payments and a persistent increase in real house prices that they induce.