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Strategic bias and professional affiliations of macroeconomic forecasters

  • Masahiro Ashiya

    (Faculty of Economics, Kobe University, Japan)

This paper investigates strategic motives of macroeconomic forecasters and the effect of their professional affiliations. The 'wishful expectations hypothesis' suggests that a forecaster predicts what his employer wishes. The 'publicity hypothesis' argues that forecasters are evaluated by both accuracy and ability to generate publicity, and that forecasters in industries that emphasize publicity most will make most extreme and least accurate predictions. The 'signaling hypothesis' asserts that an extreme forecast signals confidence in own ability, because incompetent forecasters would mimic others to avoid public notice. Empirical evidence from a 26-year panel of annual GDP forecasts is con-sistent with the publicity hypothesis. This indicates that conventional tests of rationality are biased toward rejecting the rational expectations hypothesis. Copyright ? 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/for.1095
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Forecasting.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 120-130

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Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:120-130
DOI: 10.1002/for.1095
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/2966

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  1. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "Foreign Exchange Rate Expectations: Micro Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 434-49, June.
  2. Masahiro Ashiya, 2006. "Testing the rationality of forecast revisions made by the IMF and the OECD," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 25-36.
  3. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
  4. Tilman Ehrbeck & Robert Waldmann, 1996. "Why Are Professional Forecasters Biased? Agency versus Behavioral Explanations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 21-40.
  5. Davies, Anthony & Lahiri, Kajal, 1995. "A new framework for analyzing survey forecasts using three-dimensional panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 205-227, July.
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  7. Loffler, Gunter, 1998. "Biases in analyst forecasts: cognitive, strategic or second-best?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 261-275, June.
  8. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. David Laster & Paul Bennett & In Sun Geoum, 1999. "Rational Bias in Macroeconomic Forecasts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 293-318.
  10. 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 714-35, September.
  11. Joutz, Fred & Stekler, H. O., 2000. "An evaluation of the predictions of the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 17-38.
  12. Jansen, Dennis W. & Kishan, Ruby Pandey, 1996. "An evaluation of federal reserve forecasting," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 89-109.
  13. Jordi Pons, 1999. "Evaluating the OECD's forecasts for economic growth," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 893-902.
  14. Ashiya, Masahiro & Doi, Takero, 2001. "Herd behavior of Japanese economists," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 343-346, November.
  15. Ashiya, Masahiro, 2003. "Testing the rationality of Japanese GDP forecasts: the sign of forecast revision matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 263-269, February.
  16. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Reply to the comments on 'Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists'," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 563-567, December.
  17. Masahiro Ashiya, 2005. "Twenty-two years of Japanese institutional forecasts," Applied Financial Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 79-84, March.
  18. Jordi Pons-Novell, 2003. "Strategic bias, herding behaviour and economic forecasts," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 67-77.
  19. Batchelor, Roy & Dua, Pami, 1991. "Blue Chip Rationality Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(4), pages 692-705, November.
  20. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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