How informative are the subjective density forecasts of macroeconomists?
AbstractIn this paper, we propose a framework to evaluate the subjective density forecasts of macroeconomists using micro data from the euro area Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). A key aspect of our analysis is the evaluation of the entire predictive densities, including an evaluation of the impact of density features such as location, spread, skew and tail risk on density forecast performance. Overall, we find considerable heterogeneity in the performance of the surveyed densities at the individual level. Relative to a set of simple benchmarks, this performance is somewhat better for GDP growth than for inflation, although in the former case it diminishes substantially with the forecast horizon. In addition, we report evidence of some improvement in the relative performance of expert densities during the recent period of macroeconomic volatility. However, our analysis also reveals clear evidence of overconfidence or neglected risks in expert probability assessments, as reflected in frequent occurrences of events which are assigned a zero probability. Moreover, higher moment features of expert densities, such as skew or the degree of probability mass in their tails, are shown not to contribute significantly to improvements in individual density forecast performance. JEL Classification: C22, C53
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1446.
Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
- C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-FOR-2012-09-16 (Forecasting)
- NEP-MAC-2012-09-16 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ghysels, Eric & Wright, Jonathan H., 2009. "Forecasting Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 504-516.
- James Mitchell & Kenneth F. Wallis, 2011.
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Journal of Applied Econometrics,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(6), pages 1023-1040, 09.
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- Paloviita, Maritta & Viren, Matti, 2012. "Inflation and output growth uncertainty in individual survey expectations," Research Discussion Papers 37/2012, Bank of Finland.
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