Twenty-two Years of the NBER-ASA Quarterly Economic Outlook Surveys: Aspects and Comparisons of Forecasting Performance
AbstractThe National Bureau of Economic Research, in co-operation with the American Statistical Association, conducted a regular quarterly survey of professional macroeconomic forecasters for 22 years beginning in 1968. The survey produced a mass of information about characteristics and results of the forecasting process. Many studies have already used some of this material. but this is the first comprehensive examination of all of It, This report addresses several subjects and produces findings on each, as follows: (I) The distributions of error statistics across the forecasters: the dispersion among the individual predictions is often large and it typically increases with forecast horizon, as do the mean absolute (or squared) errors. (2) The role of the time-series properties of the target data: the more volatile the time series, the larger as a rule are the errors of the forecasts. (3) The role of revisions in "actual" data: forecast errors tend to be larger the greater the extent of the revisions. (4) Differences by subperiod: there is little evidence of an overall improvement or deterioration in forecasts between the 1970s and the 19805. (5) Combining the individual forecasts into group mean or "consensus" forecasts: this generally results in large gains in accuracy. (6) Comparisons with a well-known macroeconometric model: the group forecasts are more accurate for most but not all variables and spans. (7) Comparisons with state-of-the-art time series models: the group forecasts and at least half of the individual forecasts tend to outperform Bayesian vector autoregressive models in most (but not all) cases. The univariate ARIMA forecasts arc generally the weakest.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3965.
Date of creation: Jan 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, edited by James Stock and Mark Watson, Studies in Business Cycles Vol 28, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Victor Zarnowitz & Phillip Braun, 1993. "Twenty-two Years of the NBER-ASA Quarterly Economic Outlook Surveys: Aspects and Comparisons of Forecasting Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, pages 11-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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.:
- Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rosanne Cole, 1969. "Errors In Provisional Estimates Of Gross National Product," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cole69-1.
- Robert B. Litterman, 1985.
"Forecasting with Bayesian vector autoregressions five years of experience,"
274, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
- Michael K. Evans & Yoel Haitovsky & George I. Treyz & Vincent Su, 1972. "An Analysis Of The Forecasting Properties Of U.S. Econometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: Econometric Models of Cyclical Behavior, Vols. 1 and 2, pages 949-1158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Solow, Robert M, 1985. "Economic History and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 328-31, May.
- Dominguez, Kathryn M & Fair, Ray C & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1988.
"Forecasting the Depression: Harvard versus Yale,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 595-612, September.
- Ray C. Fair & Matthew D. Shapiro & Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1986. "Forecasting the Depression: Harvard Versus Yale," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 808, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Ray C. Fair & Matthew D. Shapiro & Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1986. "Forecasting the Depression: Harvard Versus Yale," NBER Working Papers 2095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Clemen, Robert T., 1989. "Combining forecasts: A review and annotated bibliography," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 559-583.
- Emile Grunberg & Franco Modigliani, 1954. "The Predictability of Social Events," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 465.
- Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
- Zarnowitz, Victor & Lambros, Louis A, 1987. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 591-621, June.
- Victor Zarnowitz, 1972. "The Business Cycle Today: An Introduction," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 1: The Business Cycle Today, pages 1-38 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Vincent Su & Josephine Su, 1975. "An Evaluation of ASA/NBER Business Outlook Survey Forecasts," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 2, number 4, pages 588-618 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.