Rational expectations and fixed-event forecasts: an application to UK inflation
In this paper a version of the rational expectations hypothesis is tested using fixed-event inflation forecasts for the UK. Fixed-event forecasts consist of a panel of forecasts for a set of outturns of a series at varying horizons prior to each outturn. The forecasts are the prediction of fund managers surveyed by Merrill Lynch. Fixed-event forecasts allow tests for whether expectations are unbiased in a similar fashion to the rest of the literature. But they also permit particular tests of forecast efficiency to be conducted - whether the forecasts make best use of available information - that are not possible with rolling event data. The results show evidence of a positive bias in inflation expectations. Evidence for inefficiency is much less clear cut.
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