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Macroeconomic forecasts and microeconomic forecasters in the Survey of Professional Forecasters

  • Tom Stark
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/1997/wp97-10.pdf
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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 97-10.

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    Date of creation: 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:97-10
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    1. Owen Lamont, 1995. "Macroeconomics Forecasts and Microeconomic Forecasters," NBER Working Papers 5284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "Foreign Exchange Rate Expectations: Micro Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 434-49, June.
    3. Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bonham, Carl & Cohen, Richard, 1995. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 284-89, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Dean Croushore, 1996. "Inflation forecasts: how good are they?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 15-25.
    7. David Laster & Paul Bennett & In Sun Geoum, 1997. "Rational bias in macroeconomic forecasts," Staff Reports 21, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    8. 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 714-35, September.
    9. Stephen K. McNees, 1989. "Why do forecasts differ?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 42-54.
    10. Ehrbeck, Tilman & Waldmann, Robert, 1996. "Why Are Professional Forecasters Biased? Agency versus Behavioral Explanations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 21-40, February.
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