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Fundamental disagreement

  • Andrade, Philippe

    (Banque de France)

  • Crump, Richard K.


    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Eusepi, Stefano

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Moench, Emanuel

We use the term structure of disagreement of professional forecasters to document a novel set of facts: (1) forecasters disagree at all horizons, including the long run; (2) the term structure of disagreement differs markedly across variables: it is downward sloping for real output growth, relatively flat for inflation, and upward sloping for the federal funds rate; (3) disagreement is time-varying at all horizons, including the long run. These new facts present a challenge to benchmark models of expectation formation based on informational frictions. We show that these models require two additional ingredients to match the entire term structure of disagreement: First, agents must disentangle low-frequency shifts in the fundamentals of the economy from short-term fluctuations. Second, agents must take into account the dynamic interactions between variables when forming forecasts. While models enriched with these features capture the observed term structure of disagreement irrespective of the source of the informational friction, they fall short at explaining the time variance of disagreement at medium- and long-term horizons. We also use the term structure of disagreement to analyze the monetary policy rule perceived by professional forecasters and show that it features a high degree of interest-rate smoothing and time variation in the intercept.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 655.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2013
Date of revision: 01 Nov 2014
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:655
Note: Previous title: “Noisy Information and Fundamental Disagreement”
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  1. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  2. Klaus Adam & Mario Padula, 2002. "Inflation Dynamics and Subjective Expectations in the United States," CSEF Working Papers 78, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 02 Jun 2009.
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  6. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  16. Boero,Gianna & Smith,Jeremy & Wallis,Kenneth F, 2006. "Uncertainty and disagreement in economic prediction : the Bank of England Survey of External Forecasters," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 811, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  19. Lahiri, Kajal & Sheng, Xuguang, 2008. "Evolution of forecast disagreement in a Bayesian learning model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 325-340, June.
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