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Uncertainty and Disagreement in Economic Prediction: The Bank of England Survey of External Forecasters

  • Gianna Boero
  • Jeremy Smith
  • KennethF. Wallis

This article introduces a new source of survey data, namely the Bank of England Survey of External Forecasters. The survey collects point and density forecasts of inflation and GDP growth and, hence, offers the opportunity of constructing direct measures of uncertainty. We present a simple statistical framework in which to define and interrelate measures of uncertainty and disagreement. The resulting measures are compared with other direct measures of uncertainty, nationally and internationally. A significant, sustained reduction in inflation uncertainty followed the 1997 granting of operational independence to the Bank of England to pursue a monetary policy of inflation targeting. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2008.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 118 (2008)
Issue (Month): 530 (07)
Pages: 1107-1127

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:530:p:1107-1127
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  1. Michael P. Clements, 2004. "Evaluating the Bank of England Density Forecasts of Inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 844-866, October.
  2. Lahiri, Kajal & Teigland, Christie & Zaporowski, Mark, 1988. "Interest Rates and the Subjective Probability Distribution of Inflation Forecasts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 233-48, May.
  3. Carruth, Alan & Dickerson, Andrew & Henley, Andrew, 2000. " What Do We Know about Investment under Uncertainty?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 119-53, April.
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  7. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1992. "Earnings uncertainty and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 307-337, November.
  8. Bruce E. Hansen, 1995. "Approximate Asymptotic P-Values for Structural Change Tests," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 297., Boston College Department of Economics.
  9. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2006. "Is there evidence of pessimism and doubt in subjective distributions? Implications for the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1027-1043, June.
  10. Robert Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2006. "The relationship between expected inflation, disagreement, and uncertainty: evidence from matched point and density forecasts," Staff Reports 253, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2003. "Inflation forecast uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1037-1059, December.
  12. Kenneth F. Wallis, 2005. "Combining Density and Interval Forecasts: A Modest Proposal," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(s1), pages 983-994, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Kenneth F. Wallis, 2004. "An Assessment of Bank of England and National Institute Inflation Forecast Uncertainties," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 189(1), pages 64-71, July.
  15. Joseph Engelberg & Charles F. Manski & Jared Williams, 2006. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," NBER Working Papers 11978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
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