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The relationship between expected inflation, disagreement, and uncertainty: evidence from matched point and density forecasts

  • Robert Rich
  • Joseph Tracy

This paper examines matched point and density forecasts of inflation from the Survey of Professional Forecasters to analyze the relationship between expected inflation, disagreement, and uncertainty. We extend previous studies through our data construction and estimation methodology. Specifically, we derive measures of disagreement and uncertainty by using a decomposition proposed in earlier research by Wallis and by applying the concept of entropy from information theory. We also undertake the empirical analysis within a seemingly unrelated regression framework. Our results offer mixed support for the propositions that disagreement is a useful proxy for uncertainty and that increases in expected inflation are accompanied by heightened inflation uncertainty. However, we document a robust, quantitatively and statistically significant positive association between disagreement and expected inflation.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 253.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:253
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  1. 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.
  2. Joseph Engelberg & Charles F. Manski & Jared Williams, 2006. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," NBER Working Papers 11978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Augusto Marc Rocha Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm391, Yale School of Management.
  4. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 384, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 09 Oct 2000.
  5. Lahiri, Kajal & Teigland, Christie, 1987. "On the normality of probability distributions of inflation and GNP forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 269-279.
  6. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and Its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 239-53, January.
  7. Kenneth F. Wallis, 2005. "Combining Density and Interval Forecasts: A Modest Proposal," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(s1), pages 983-994, December.
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