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Disagreement among Forecasters in G7 Countries


  • Jonas Dovern

    () (Kiel Economics)

  • Ulrich Fritsche

    () (Department for Socioeconomics, Department for Economics, University of Hamburg)

  • Jiri Slacalek

    () (European Central Bank)


Using the Consensus Economics dataset with individual expert forecasts from G7 countries we investigate determinants of disagreement (crosssectional dispersion of forecasts) about six key economic indicators. Disagreement about real variables (GDP, consumption, investment and unemployment) has a distinct dynamic from disagreement about nominal variables (in ation and interest rate). Disagreement about real variables intensifes strongly during recessions, including the current one (by about 40 percent in terms of the interquartile range). Disagreement about nominal variables rises with their level, has fallen after 1998 or so (by 30 percent), and is considerably lower under independent central banks (by 35 percent). Cross-sectional dispersion for both groups increases with uncertainty about the underlying actual indicators, though to a lesser extent for nominal series. Countryby- country regressions for inflation and interest rates reveal that both the level of disagreement and its sensitivity to macroeconomic variables tend to be larger in Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, where central banks became independent only around the mid-1990s. These findings suggest that more credible monetary policy can substantially contribute to anchoring of expectations about nominal variables; its e ects on disagreement about real variables are moderate.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonas Dovern & Ulrich Fritsche & Jiri Slacalek, 2009. "Disagreement among Forecasters in G7 Countries," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200906, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  • Handle: RePEc:hep:macppr:200906

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    More about this item


    disagreement; survey expectations; monetary policy; forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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