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Learning and Heterogeneity in GDP and Inflation Forecasts

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  • Kajal Lahiri
  • Xuguang Sheng

Abstract

Using a Bayesian learning model with heterogeneity across agents, our study aims to identify the relative importance of alternative pathways through which professional forecasters disagree and reach consensus on the term structure of inflation and real GDP forecasts, resulting in different patterns of forecast accuracy. Forecast disagreement arises from two primary sources in our model: differences in the initial prior beliefs, and differences in the interpretation of new public information. Estimated model parameters, together with two separate case studies on (i) the dynamics of forecast disagreement in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack in the U.S. and (ii) the successful inflation targeting experience in Italy after 1997, firmly establish the importance of these two pathways to expert disagreement, and help to explain the relative forecasting accuracy of these two macroeconomic variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Kajal Lahiri & Xuguang Sheng, 2009. "Learning and Heterogeneity in GDP and Inflation Forecasts," Discussion Papers 09-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:09-05
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    Cited by:

    1. Capistrán, Carlos & López-Moctezuma, Gabriel, 2014. "Forecast revisions of Mexican inflation and GDP growth," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 177-191.
    2. Sinclair, Tara M. & Gamber, Edward N. & Stekler, Herman & Reid, Elizabeth, 2012. "Jointly evaluating the Federal Reserve’s forecasts of GDP growth and inflation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 309-314.
    3. Jonas Dovern & Matthias Hartmann, 2017. "Forecast performance, disagreement, and heterogeneous signal-to-noise ratios," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 63-77, August.
    4. Clements, Michael P., 2014. "Probability distributions or point predictions? Survey forecasts of US output growth and inflation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 99-117.
    5. Pedersen, Michael, 2015. "What affects the predictions of private forecasters? The role of central bank forecasts in Chile," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1043-1055.
    6. Lena Draeger & Michael J. Lamla, 2015. "Disagreement à la Taylor: Evidence from Survey Microdata," KOF Working papers 15-380, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    7. Chen, Qiwei & Costantini, Mauro & Deschamps, Bruno, 2016. "How accurate are professional forecasts in Asia? Evidence from ten countries," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 154-167.
    8. Konstantin A. Kholodilin & Boriss Siliverstovs, 2009. "Do forecasters inform or reassure?," KOF Working papers 09-215, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    9. Clements, Michael P., 2012. "Do professional forecasters pay attention to data releases?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 297-308.
    10. Dimitrios Papastamos & George Matysiak & Simon Stevenson, 2014. "A Comparative Analysis of the Accuracy and Uncertainty in Real Estate and Macroeconomic Forecasts," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2014-06, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    11. Sheng, Xuguang (Simon) & Thevenot, Maya, 2015. "Quantifying differential interpretation of public information using financial analysts’ earnings forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 515-530.
    12. Sheng, Xuguang (Simon), 2015. "Evaluating the economic forecasts of FOMC members," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 165-175.
    13. Patton, Andrew J. & Timmermann, Allan, 2010. "Why do forecasters disagree? Lessons from the term structure of cross-sectional dispersion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(7), pages 803-820, October.
    14. Bruno Deschamps, 2015. "Are aggregate corporate earnings forecasts unbiased and efficient?," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 803-818, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General

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