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Inattentive professional forecasters

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  • Andrade, P.
  • Le Bihan, H.

Abstract

We use the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters to characterize the dynamics of expectations at the micro level. We find that forecasters (i) have predictable forecast errors; (ii) disagree; (iii) fail to systematically update their forecasts in the wake of new information; (iv) disagree even when updating; and (v) differ in their frequency of updating and forecast performances. We argue that these micro data facts are qualitatively in line with recent models in which expectations are formed by inattentive agents. However building and estimating an expectation model that features two types of inattention, namely sticky information à la Mankiw-Reis and noisy information à la Sims, we cannot quantitatively generate the error and disagreement that are observed in the SPF data. The rejection is mainly due to the fact that professionals relatively agree on very sluggish forecasts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 307.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:307

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Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/
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Keywords: imperfect information; inattention; forecast errors; disagreement; business cycle.;

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  1. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  2. Michael T. Kiley, 2006. "A quantitative comparison of sticky-price and sticky-information models of price setting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Klenow, Peter J. & Willis, Jonathan L., 2007. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 79-99, September.
  4. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  5. Patton, Andrew J. & Timmermann, Allan, 2010. "Why do forecasters disagree? Lessons from the term structure of cross-sectional dispersion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 803-820, October.
  6. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," 2005 Meeting Papers 290, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200604, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  8. Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2010. "Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs," NBER Working Papers 15852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Carlos Bowles & Roberta Friz & Veronique Genre & Geoff Kenny & Aidan Meyler & Tuomas Rautanen, 2007. "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience," Occasional Paper Series 59, European Central Bank.
  11. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Weale, Martin, 2006. "Survey Expectations," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations Of Households And Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298, February.
  14. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process," IMF Working Papers 12/296, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1343-77, June.
  16. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Strategic Interaction among Heterogeneous Price-Setters in an Estimated DSGE Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 920-940, August.
  17. Olivier Coibion, 2010. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 87-101, February.
  18. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  20. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  21. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  23. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
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