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Probability Distributions or Point Predictions? Survey Forecasts of US Output Growth and Inflation

  • Clements, Michael P

    (University of Warwick)

We consider whether survey respondents’probability distributions, reported as histograms, provide reliable and coherent point predictions, when viewed through the lens of a Bayesian learning model, and whether they are well calibrated more generally. We argue that a role remains for eliciting directly-reported point predictions in surveys of professional forecasters. Key words: probability distribution forecasts ; point forecasts ; Bayesian learning JEL classification: C53

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2012/twerp_976.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 976.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:976
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. García, Juan Angel & Manzanares, Andrés, 2007. "Reporting biases and survey results: evidence from European professional forecasters," Working Paper Series 0836, European Central Bank.
  2. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2010. "Modeling inflation after the crisis," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 173-220.
  3. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
  5. Kajal Lahiri & Xuguang Sheng, 2009. "Learning and Heterogeneity in GDP and Inflation Forecasts," Discussion Papers 09-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  6. Xuguang Sheng & Jingyun Yang, 2013. "Truncated Product Methods for Panel Unit Root Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(4), pages 624-636, 08.
  7. Sebastiano Manzan, 2011. "Differential Interpretation in the Survey of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(5), pages 993-1017, 08.
  8. Gianna Boero & Jeremy Smith & KennethF. Wallis, 2008. "Uncertainty and Disagreement in Economic Prediction: The Bank of England Survey of External Forecasters," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1107-1127, 07.
  9. Victor Zarnowitz & Phillip Braun, 1992. "Twenty-two Years of the NBER-ASA Quarterly Economic Outlook Surveys: Aspects and Comparisons of Forecasting Performance," NBER Working Papers 3965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 384, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 09 Oct 2000.
  11. Batchelor, Roy & Dua, Pami, 1991. "Blue Chip Rationality Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(4), pages 692-705, November.
  12. Anthony Tay & Kenneth F. Wallis, 2000. "Density Forecasting: A Survey," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0370, Econometric Society.
  13. Clements, Michael P., 2008. "Explanations of the inconsistencies in survey respondents'forecasts," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 870, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  14. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, 02.
  15. 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.
  16. Lahiri, Kajal & Sheng, Xuguang, 2008. "Evolution of forecast disagreement in a Bayesian learning model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 325-340, June.
  17. Berkowitz, Jeremy, 2001. "Testing Density Forecasts, with Applications to Risk Management," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 465-74, October.
  18. Eugene Kandel & Ben-Zion Zilberfarb, 1999. "Differential Interpretation Of Information In Inflation Forecasts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 217-226, May.
  19. Engelberg, Joseph & Manski, Charles F. & Williams, Jared, 2009. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 30-41.
  20. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Erratum to "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(7), pages 1849-1849, October.
  21. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  22. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
  23. Dean Croushore, 1993. "Introducing: the survey of professional forecasters," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 3-15.
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