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Manipulability of Future-Independent Tests

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  • Wojciech Olszewski
  • Alvaro Sandroni

Abstract

The difficulties in properly anticipating key economic variables may encourage decision makers to rely on experts' forecasts. Professional forecasters, however, may not be reliable and so their forecasts must be empirically tested. This may induce experts to forecast strategically in order to pass the test. A test can be ignorantly passed if a false expert, with no knowledge of the data-generating process, can pass the test. Many tests that are unlikely to reject correct forecasts can be ignorantly passed. Tests that cannot be ignorantly passed do exist, but these tests must make use of predictions contingent on data not yet observed at the time the forecasts are rejected. Such tests cannot be run if forecasters report only the probability of the next period's events on the basis of the actually observed data. This result shows that it is difficult to dismiss false, but strategic, experts who know how theories are tested. This result also shows an important role that can be played by predictions contingent on data not yet observed. Copyright 2008 The Econometric Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 76 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1437-1466

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:76:y:2008:i:6:p:1437-1466

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1999. "An Easier Way to Calibrate," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 131-137, October.
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  3. Wojciech Olszewski & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "Strategic Manipulation of Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 1425, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  7. Alvaro Sandroni & Wojciech Olszewski, 2008. "Falsifiability," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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Cited by:
  1. Wojciech Olszewski & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "Strategic Manipulation of Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 1425, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Colin, Stewart, 2011. "Nonmanipulable Bayesian testing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 2029-2041, September.
  3. Alvaro Sandroni & Wojciech Olszewski, 2008. "Falsifiability," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Freedman, David A., 2009. "Diagnostics cannot have much power against general alternatives," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 833-839, October.
  5. Feinberg, Yossi & Lambert, Nicolas S., 2011. "Mostly Calibrated," Research Papers 2090, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  6. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Sandroni, Alvaro & Smorodinsky, Rann & Weinstein, Jonathan, 2010. "Testing theories with learnable and predictive representations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2203-2217, November.

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