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Are They Really Rational? Assessing Professional Macro-Economic Forecasts from the G7-Countries

  • Jonas Dovern
  • Johannes Weisser

In this paper, we use survey data to analyze the rationality of professional macroeconomic forecasts. We analyze both individual forecasts and average forecasts. We provide evidence on the properties of forecasts for all the G7-counties and four different macroeconomic variables. Furthermore, we present a modification to the structural model which is commonly used to model the forecast errors of fixed event forecasts in the literature. Our results confirm that average forecasts should be used with caution, since even if all individual forecasts are rational the hypothesis of rationality is often rejected by the aggregate forecasts. We find that there are not only large differences in the performance of forecasters across countries but also across different macroeconomic variables; in general, forecasts tend to be biased in situations where forecasters have to learn about large structural shocks or gradual changes in the trend of a variable

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/are-they-really-rational-assessing-professional-macro-economic-forecasts-from-the-g7-countries/KWP_1447.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1447.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1447
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  1. Batchelor, Roy & Dua, Pami, 1991. "Blue Chip Rationality Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(4), pages 692-705, November.
  2. Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2009. "Disagreement and Biases in Inflation Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 365-396, 03.
  3. David Andolfatto & Scott Hendry & Kevin Moran, 2005. "Are Inflation Expectations Rational?," Macroeconomics 0501002, EconWPA.
  4. Fred Joutz & Michael P. Clements & Herman O. Stekler, 2007. "An evaluation of the forecasts of the federal reserve: a pooled approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 121-136.
  5. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen & Devereux, Michael & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1992. "Investment and Tobin's Q: Evidence from company panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 233-257.
  6. Ager, Philipp & Kappler, Marcus & Osterloh, Steffen, 2007. "The Accuracy and Efficiency of the Consensus Forecasts: A Further Application and Extension of the Pooled Approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-058, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Bonham, Carl S & Cohen, Richard H, 2001. "To Aggregate, Pool, or Neither: Testing the Rational-Expectations Hypothesis Using Survey Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 278-91, July.
  8. Batchelor, Roy, 2007. "Bias in macroeconomic forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 189-203.
  9. Ashiya, Masahiro, 2003. "Testing the rationality of Japanese GDP forecasts: the sign of forecast revision matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 263-269, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Roy Batchelor, 2007. "Forecaster Behaviour and Bias in Macroeconomic Forecasts," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 39, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  12. Davies, Anthony & Lahiri, Kajal, 1995. "A new framework for analyzing survey forecasts using three-dimensional panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 205-227, July.
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