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Inattentive professional forecasters

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Author Info

  • 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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Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/
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Keywords: imperfect information; inattention; forecast errors; disagreement; business cycle.;

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References

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  1. Olivier Coibion, 2010. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 87-101, February.
  2. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2009. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," NBER Working Papers 15049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Augusto Marc Rocha Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm391, Yale School of Management.
  4. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," 2005 Meeting Papers 290, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2010. "Optimal Price Setting with Observation and Menu Costs," EIEF Working Papers Series 1010, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2010.
  6. 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.
  7. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Martin Weale, 2005. "Survey Expectations," IEPR Working Papers 05.30, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR).
  9. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Strategic Interaction among Heterogeneous Price-Setters in an Estimated DSGE Model," Working Papers 93, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  10. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," NBER Working Papers 10883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael Kiley, 2005. "A Quantitative Comparison Of Sticky-Price And Sticky-Information Models Of Price Setting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  14. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201216, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  15. Peter J. Klenow & Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Research Working Paper RWP 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  17. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  18. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process," IMF Working Papers 12/296, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
  20. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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