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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. 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.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  4. M. Hashem Pesaran & Martin Weale, 2005. "Survey Expectations," CESifo Working Paper Series 1599, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2010. "Optimal Price Setting with Observation and Menu Costs," EIEF Working Papers Series 1010, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2010.
  6. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Strategic Interaction among Heterogeneous Price-Setters in an Estimated DSGE Model," Working Papers 93, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  7. 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.
  8. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  9. Michael Kiley, 2005. "A Quantitative Comparison Of Sticky-Price And Sticky-Information Models Of Price Setting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  11. 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.
  12. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2010. "What can survey forecasts tell us about informational rigidities?," 2010 Meeting Papers 277, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Klenow, Peter J. & Willis, Jonathan L., 2007. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 79-99, September.
  14. Döpke, Jörg & Dovern, Jonas & Fritsche, Ulrich & Slacalek, Jiri, 2008. "Sticky information Phillips curves: European evidence," Working Paper Series 0930, European Central Bank.
  15. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  16. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  17. Olivier Coibion, 2007. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," Working Papers 61, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  21. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
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