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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  4. 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.
  5. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal To Replace The New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328, November.
  7. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  8. 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.).
  9. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," NBER Working Papers 10883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. M. Hashem Pesaran & Martin Weale, 2005. "Survey Expectations," IEPR Working Papers 05.30, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR).
  12. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," Working Papers 102, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  13. 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.
  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Working Papers 9796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Olivier Coibion, 2007. "Testing the Sticky Information Phillips Curve," Working Papers 61, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  18. Klenow, Peter J. & Willis, Jonathan L., 2007. "Sticky information and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 79-99, September.
  19. Michael J. Lamla & Samad Sarferaz, 2012. "Updating Inflation Expectations," KOF Working papers 12-301, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  20. 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.
  21. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  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. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  24. 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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