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Inattentive professional forecasters

  • Andrade, P.
  • Le Bihan, H.

We use the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters to characterize the dynamics of expectations at the micro level. We find that forecasters (i) have predictable forecast errors; (ii) disagree; (iii) fail to systematically update their forecasts in the wake of new information; (iv) disagree even when updating; and (v) differ in their frequency of updating and forecast performances. We argue that these micro data facts are qualitatively in line with recent models in which expectations are formed by inattentive agents. However building and estimating an expectation model that features two types of inattention, namely sticky information à la Mankiw-Reis and noisy information à la Sims, we cannot quantitatively generate the error and disagreement that are observed in the SPF data. The rejection is mainly due to the fact that professionals relatively agree on very sluggish forecasts.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 307.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:307
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Jonas Dovern & Joerg Doepke & Ulrich Fritsche & Jirka Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200604, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  2. Michael T. Kiley, 2005. "A quantitative comparison of sticky-price and sticky-information models of price setting," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Patton, Andrew J. & Timmermann, Allan, 2010. "Why do forecasters disagree? Lessons from the term structure of cross-sectional dispersion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 803-820, October.
  5. Peter J. Klenow & Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Research Working Paper RWP 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  6. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Strategic Interaction among Heterogeneous Price-Setters in an Estimated DSGE Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 920-940, August.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations Of Households And Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298, February.
  9. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  10. Pesaran, M.H. & Weale, M., 2005. "Survey Expectations," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0536, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  11. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," NBER Working Papers 16537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Olivier Coibion, 2007. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," Working Papers 61, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  13. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  14. F. Alvarez & F. Lippi & L. Paciello, 2010. "Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs," 2010 Meeting Papers 478, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  16. Carlos Bowles & Roberta Friz & Veronique Genre & Geoff Kenny & Aidan Meyler & Tuomas Rautanen, 2007. "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience," Occasional Paper Series 59, European Central Bank.
  17. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," 2005 Meeting Papers 290, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us About Informational Rigidities?," NBER Working Papers 14586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2009. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," NBER Working Papers 15049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  21. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201216, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  22. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
  23. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  24. Carvalho Carlos, 2006. "Heterogeneity in Price Stickiness and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-58, December.
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