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The behavior of uncertainty and disagreement and their roles in economic prediction: a panel analysis

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This paper examines point and density forecasts from the European Central Bank’s Survey of Professional Forecasters. We derive individual uncertainty measures along with individual point- and density-based measures of disagreement. We also explore the relationship between uncertainty and disagreement, as well as their roles in respondents’ forecast performance and forecast revisions. We observe substantial heterogeneity in respondents’ uncertainty and disagreement. In addition, there is little co-movement between uncertainty and disagreement, and forecast performance shows a more robust inverse relationship with disagreement than with uncertainty. Further, forecast revisions display a more meaningful association with disagreement than with uncertainty: Those respondents displaying higher levels of disagreement revise their point and density forecasts by a larger amount.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 808.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2017
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:808
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  1. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2003. "Inflation forecast uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1037-1059, December.
  2. Manuel Amador & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 866-907.
  3. Engelberg, Joseph & Manski, Charles F. & Williams, Jared, 2009. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 30-41.
  4. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
  5. Antonello D’Agostino & Kieran Mcquinn & Karl Whelan, 2012. "Are Some Forecasters Really Better Than Others?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 715-732, 06.
  6. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  7. John Y. Campbell, 2000. "Asset Pricing at the Millennium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1515-1567, 08.
  8. Gianna Boero & Jeremy Smith & KennethF. Wallis, 2008. "Uncertainty and Disagreement in Economic Prediction: The Bank of England Survey of External Forecasters," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1107-1127, 07.
  9. Michael P. Clements, 2004. "Evaluating the Bank of England Density Forecasts of Inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 844-866, October.
  10. Wändi Bruine De Bruin & Charles F. Manski & Giorgio Topa & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2011. "Measuring consumer uncertainty about future inflation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 454-478, 04.
  11. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2012. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Geoff Kenny & Thomas Kostka & Federico Masera, 2014. "How Informative are the Subjective Density Forecasts of Macroeconomists?," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(3), pages 163-185, 04.
  13. Stefania D'Amico & Athanasios Orphanides, 2008. "Uncertainty and disagreement in economic forecasting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. 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.
  15. Joshua Abel & Robert Rich & Joseph Song & Joseph Tracy, 2016. "The Measurement and Behavior of Uncertainty: Evidence from the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 533-550, 04.
  16. Engle, Robert F, 1983. "Estimates of the Variance of U.S. Inflation Based upon the ARCH Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 286-301, August.
  17. Juan Angel Garcia, 2003. "An introduction to the ECB’s survey of professional forecasters," Occasional Paper Series 08, European Central Bank.
  18. Arroyo, Javier & Maté, Carlos, 2009. "Forecasting histogram time series with k-nearest neighbours methods," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 192-207.
  19. Kajal Lahiri & Xuguang Sheng, 2010. "Measuring forecast uncertainty by disagreement: The missing link," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 514-538.
  20. Gianna Boero & Jeremy Smith & Kenneth F. Wallis, 2015. "The Measurement and Characteristics of Professional Forecasters' Uncertainty," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 1029-1046, November.
  21. Robert Rich & Joseph Tracy, 2010. "The Relationships among Expected Inflation, Disagreement, and Uncertainty: Evidence from Matched Point and Density Forecasts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 200-207, February.
  22. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  23. 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.
  24. Zarnowitz, Victor & Lambros, Louis A, 1987. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 591-621, June.
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