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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
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Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us about Information Rigidities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 116 - 159.
  2. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process; A Simple Framework and New Facts," IMF Working Papers 12/296, International Monetary Fund.
  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 714-35, September.
  4. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Michael T. Kiley, 2006. "A quantitative comparison of sticky-price and sticky-information models of price setting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. 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.
  9. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Strategic Interaction Among Heterogeneous Price-Setters In An Estimated DSGE Model," NBER Working Papers 14323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peter J. Klenow & Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Research Working Paper RWP 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  11. Olivier Coibion, 2010. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 87-101, February.
  12. Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2011. "Optimal Price Setting With Observation and Menu Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1909-1960.
  13. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. M. Hashem Pesaran & Martin Weale, 2005. "Survey Expectations," IEPR Working Papers 05.30, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR).
  15. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  16. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  18. Jörg Döpke & Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2008. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1513-1520, October.
  19. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 9796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  21. Branch, William A., 2007. "Sticky information and model uncertainty in survey data on inflation expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 245-276, January.
  22. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  23. 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.
  24. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298.
  25. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
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