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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
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Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:307
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  1. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2644-78, August.
  2. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  3. Pesaran, M.H. & Weale, M., 2005. "Survey Expectations," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0536, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. 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.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 209-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us About Informational Rigidities?," NBER Working Papers 14586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jörg Döpke & Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2006. "Sticky Information Phillips Curves: European Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 615, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  9. Alvarez, Fernando & Lippi, Francesco & Paciello, Luigi, 2010. "Optimal price setting with observation and menu costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 7861, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Peter J. Klenow & Jonathan L. Willis, 2006. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Research Working Paper RWP 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  13. 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.).
  14. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," NBER Working Papers 10883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  23. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  24. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 293-311, October.
  25. 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.
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