Firms' Optimism and Pessimism
Are firms' expectations systematically too optimistic or too pessimistic? Does it matter? We use micro data from the West German manufacturing subset of the IFO Business Climate Survey to infer quarterly production changes at the firm level and combine them with production expectations over a quarterly horizon in the same survey to construct series of quantitative firm-specific expectation errors. We find that depending on the details of the empirical strategy at least 6 percent and at most 34 percent of firms systematically over- or underpredict their one-quarter-ahead upcoming production. In a simple neoclassical heterogeneous-firm model these expectational biases lead to factor misallocations that cause welfare losses which in the worst case are comparable to conventional estimates of the welfare costs of business cycles fluctuations. In more conservative calibrations the welfare losses are even smaller.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||EFG ME PR|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013.
"Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-49, April.
- Ruediger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2010. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 16143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steffen Elstner & Eric Sims & Ruediger Bachmann, 2010. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," 2010 Meeting Papers 614, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," Working Papers 014, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991.
"Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation,"
Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues
91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sascha O. Becker & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2007. "Micro Data at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research – The “Ifo Business Survey”, Usage and Access," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 47, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
- Tarek A. Hassan & Thomas M. Mertens, 2011.
"The Social Cost of Near-Rational Investment,"
NBER Working Papers
17027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Souleles, Nicholas S, 2004. "Expectations, Heterogeneous Forecast Errors, and Consumption: Micro Evidence from the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Surveys," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 39-72, February.
- Rüdiger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2011. "Uncertainty Business Cycles - Really?," NBER Working Papers 16862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bovi, Maurizio, 2009. "Economic versus psychological forecasting. Evidence from consumer confidence surveys," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 563-574, August.
- Frank de Leeuw & Michael J. McKelvey, 1981. "Price Expectations of Business Firms," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 299-314.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18989. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.