Econometrica: Jul 1961, Volume 29, Issue 3

Rational Expectations and the Theory of Price Movements

DOI: 0012-9682(196107)29:3<315:REATTO>2.0.CO;2-G
p. 315-335

John F. Muth

In order to explain fairly simply how expectations are formed, we advance the hypothesis that they are essentially the same as the predictions of the relevant economic theory. In particular, the hypothesis asserts that the economy generally does not waste information, and that expectations depend specifically on the structure of the entire system. Methods of analysis, which are appropriate under special conditions, are described in the context of an isolated market with a fixed production lag. The interpretative value of the hypothesis is illustrated by introducing commodity speculation into the system.

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