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Macroeconomic forecasts and microeconomic forecasters in the Survey of Professional Forecasters

Author

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  • Tom Stark

Abstract

Do professional forecasters distort their reported forecasts in a way that compromises accuracy? New research in the theory of forecasting suggests such a possibility. In a recent paper, Owen Lamont finds that forecasters in the Business Week survey make more radical forecasts as they gain experience. In this paper, the authors uses forecasts from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Survey of Professional Forecasters to test the robustness of Lamont's results. The author's results contradict Lamont's. However, careful examination of a methodological difference in the two surveys suggests a more general theory of forecasting that accounts for both sets of results.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Stark, 1997. "Macroeconomic forecasts and microeconomic forecasters in the Survey of Professional Forecasters," Working Papers 97-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:97-10
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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/1997/wp97-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "Foreign Exchange Rate Expectations: Micro Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 434-449, June.
    2. Lamont, Owen A., 2002. "Macroeconomic forecasts and microeconomic forecasters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 265-280, July.
    3. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
    4. David S. Laster & Paul Bennett & In Sun Geoum, 1997. "Rational bias in macroeconomic forecasts," Staff Reports 21, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Tilman Ehrbeck & Robert Waldmann, 1996. "Why Are Professional Forecasters Biased? Agency versus Behavioral Explanations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 21-40.
    7. Stephen K. McNees, 1989. "Why do forecasts differ?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 42-54.
    8. Dean Croushore, 1996. "Inflation forecasts: how good are they?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 15-25.
    9. Bonham, Carl & Cohen, Richard, 1995. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 284-289, March.
    10. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Batchelor, Roy, 2007. "Bias in macroeconomic forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 189-203.
    2. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter Norman, 2006. "The strategy of professional forecasting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 441-466, August.
    3. Roy Batchelor, 2007. "Forecaster Behaviour and Bias in Macroeconomic Forecasts," ifo Working Paper Series 39, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    4. Marinovic, Iván & Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2013. "Forecasters’ Objectives and Strategies," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    5. Scott Schuh, 2001. "An evaluation of recent macroeconomic forecast errors," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 35-56.

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    Keywords

    Forecasting;

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