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Are forecasters reluctant to revise their predictions? Some German evidence

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  • Ulrich K. Müller

    (Economics Department, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA)

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

    (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)

Abstract

People are reluctant to admit mistakes. This could also be true of economic forecasters. If revisions of past forecasts are costly, then it will become optimal for forecasters to only partially adjust a past forecast in the light of new information. The unwillingness to admit to the mistake in the old forecast generates a bias of the new forecast in the direction of the old forecast. We test this hypothesis for the joint predictions of the Association of German Economic Research Institutes over the last 35 years. We find some evidence for such a bias and compute the implied unwillingness to revise forecasts. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich K. Müller & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2006. "Are forecasters reluctant to revise their predictions? Some German evidence," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 401-413.
  • Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:25:y:2006:i:6:p:401-413
    DOI: 10.1002/for.995
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
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    5. Wallis, Kenneth F, 1989. "Macroeconomic Forecasting: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 28-61, March.
    6. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-138, May.
    7. Nordhaus, William D, 1987. "Forecasting Efficiency: Concepts and Applications," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 667-674, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ivana Komunjer & Michael T. Owyang, 2012. "Multivariate Forecast Evaluation and Rationality Testing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1066-1080, November.
    2. Hans Christian Müller-Dröge & Tara M. Sinclair & H.O. Stekler, 2014. "Evaluating Forecasts of a Vector of Variables: a German Forecasting Competition," CAMA Working Papers 2014-55, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Deschamps, Bruno & Ioannidis, Christos, 2013. "Can rational stubbornness explain forecast biases?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 141-151.
    4. Kappler, Marcus, 2007. "Projecting the Medium-Term: Outcomes and Errors for GDP Growth," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Birger Antholz, 2006. "Geschichte der quantitativen Konjunkturprognose-Evaluation in Deutschland," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(2), pages 12-33.
    6. Ulu, Yasemin, 2013. "Multivariate test for forecast rationality under asymmetric loss functions: Recent evidence from MMS survey of inflation–output forecasts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 168-171.
    7. Peter Tillmann, 2011. "Reputation and Forecast Revisions: Evidence from the FOMC," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201128, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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