IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The diversity of forecasts from macroeconomic models of the U.S. economy

  • Wieland, Volker
  • Wolters, Maik H.

This paper investigates the accuracy and heterogeneity of output growth and inflation forecasts during the current and the four preceding NBER-dated U.S. recessions. We generate forecasts from six different models of the U.S. economy and compare them to professional forecasts from the Federal Reserve's Greenbook and the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The model parameters and model forecasts are derived from historical data vintages so as to ensure comparability to historical forecasts by professionals. The mean model forecast comes surprisingly close to the mean SPF and Greenbook forecasts in terms of accuracy even though the models only make use of a small number of data series. Model forecasts compare particularly well to professional forecasts at a horizon of three to four quarters and during recoveries. The extent of forecast heterogeneity is similar for model and professional forecasts but varies substantially over time. Thus, forecast heterogeneity constitutes a potentially important source of economic fluctuations. While the particular reasons for diversity in professional forecasts are not observable, the diversity in model forecasts can be traced to different modeling assumptions, information sets and parameter estimates.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2010/08.

in new window

Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201008
Contact details of provider: Postal: House of Finance, Grüneburgplatz 1, HPF H5, D-60323 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0)69 798-30050
Fax: +49 (0)69 798-30077
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Wieland, Volker & Cwik, Tobias & Müller, Gernot J. & Schmidt, Sebastian & Wolters, Maik Hendrik, 2012. "A new comparative approach to macroeconomic modeling and policy analysis," IMFS Working Paper Series 49, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS), Goethe University Frankfurt.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Sticky Information in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 12605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Forecasting and conditional projection using realistic prior distribution," Staff Report 93, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Owen Lamont, 1995. "Macroeconomics Forecasts and Microeconomic Forecasters," NBER Working Papers 5284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2003. "Inflation forecast uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1037-1059, December.
  8. Mordecai Kurz & Maurizio Motolese, 2007. "Diverse Beliefs and Time Variability of Risk Premia," Discussion Papers 06-044, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  9. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2004. "Forecasting with a Bayesian DSGE model: an application to the euro area," Working Paper Series 0389, European Central Bank.
  11. repec:sae:niesru:v:145:y::i:1:p:43-63 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2010. "Monetary Policy and Heterogeneous Expectations," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-32, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  13. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
  14. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Priors from general equilibrium models for VARs," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2002-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. 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.
  17. Del Negro, Marco & Schorfheide, Frank & Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "On the Fit of New Keynesian Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 123-143, April.
  18. John B. Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "Surprising Comparative Properties of Monetary Models: Results from a New Data Base," NBER Working Papers 14849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fuhrer, Jeff & Moore, George, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-59, February.
  20. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2009. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts Using a Large Realtime Dataset," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 468-479.
  21. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models—Rejoinder," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 211-219.
  22. Rochelle M. Edge & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2008. "A Comparison Of Forecast Performance Between Federal Reserve Staff Forecasts, Simple Reduced-Form Models, And A Dsge Model," CAMA Working Papers 2009-03, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  23. Malin Adolfson & Michael K. Andersson & Jesper Lindé & Mattias Villani & Anders Vredin, 2007. "Modern Forecasting Models in Action: Improving Macroeconomic Analyses at Central Banks," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(4), pages 111-144, December.
  24. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-79, June.
  25. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  26. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2005. "Measures of Per Capita Hours and their Implications for the Technology-Hours Debate," NBER Working Papers 11694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Kurz, Mordecai, 1994. "On the Structure and Diversity of Rational Beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(6), pages 877-900, October.
  28. Mu-Chun Wang, 2009. "Comparing the DSGE model with the factor model: an out-of-sample forecasting experiment," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 167-182.
  29. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
  30. Kurz, Mordecai & Jin, Hehui & Motolese, Maurizio, 2003. "The role of expectations in economic fluctuations and the efficacy of monetary policy," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/42, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  31. Kurz, Mordecai, 1994. "On Rational Belief Equilibria," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(6), pages 859-76, October.
  32. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Monetary Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232316, June.
  33. Edge, Rochelle M. & Kiley, Michael T. & Laforte, Jean-Philippe, 2008. "Natural rate measures in an estimated DSGE model of the U.S. economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 2512-2535, August.
  34. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 113-172.
  35. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  36. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-39, March.
  37. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C, 1997. "Inflation/Output Variance Trade-Offs and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(2), pages 214-34, May.
  38. Carl Chiarella & Roberto Dieci & Xue-Zhong He, 2005. "Heterogeneous Expectations and Speculative Behaviour in a Dynamic Multi-Asset Framework," Research Paper Series 166, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  39. Jon Faust & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts using a Large Realtime Dataset," NBER Working Papers 13397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  41. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  42. David Laster & Paul Bennett & In Sun Geoum, 1999. "Rational Bias In Macroeconomic Forecasts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 293-318, February.
  43. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
  44. Christoffel, Kai & Coenen, Günter & Warne, Anders, 2008. "The New Area-Wide Model of the euro area: a micro-founded open-economy model for forecasting and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 0944, European Central Bank.
  45. William Branch & Bruce McGough, 2011. "Business cycle amplification with heterogeneous expectations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 395-421, June.
  46. Rochelle M. Edge & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2007. "Documentation of the Research and Statistics Division’s estimated DSGE model of the U.S. economy: 2006 version," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  47. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Carsten Nielsen, 2011. "Price stabilizing, Pareto improving policies," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 459-500, June.
  49. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:201008. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.