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Assessing the prudence of economic forecasts in the EU

  • G. A. Christodoulakis

    (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

  • E. C. Mamatzakis

    (Department of Economics, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece)

We estimate the EU Commission loss preferences for major economic forecasts of 12 Member States. Based on a recently proposed method by Elliott, Komunjer and Timmermann (2005) the paper provides evidence of asymmetries in the underlying forecast loss preference of the Commission that tend to vary across Member States. In some cases, our results show that EU forecasts tend to display a rather optimistic picture for main economic variables, e.g. government balance, thus allowing a certain degree of leeway in the fiscal adjustment path towards the medium-term objective of 'close to balance' or 'in surplus' of the recently revised Stability and Growth Pact. Over the period of our sample, 1970-2004, this apparent asymmetry in the underlying loss preferences tends to deter prudent advice over economic policy. Lastly, we provide an analysis on the trade-off between loss and distribution asymmetries, for which simulation results show that the testing method is robust in the presence of skewness. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 583-606

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:24:y:2009:i:4:p:583-606
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  2. Michael J. Artis, 1996. "How Accurate Are the Imf's Short-Term Forecasts? Another Examination of the World Economic Outlook," IMF Working Papers 96/89, International Monetary Fund.
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  8. Christodoulakis, George A., 2005. "Financial forecasts in the presence of asymmetric loss aversion, skewness and excess kurtosis," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 227-233, December.
  9. Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2006. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 491-534, 07.
  10. Veronesi, Pietro, 2004. "The Peso problem hypothesis and stock market returns," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 707-725, January.
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  12. Graham Elliott & Allan Timmermann & Ivana Komunjer, 2005. "Estimation and Testing of Forecast Rationality under Flexible Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1107-1125.
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