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Forecast Performance, Disagreement, and Heterogeneous Signal-to-Noise Ratios

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  • Hartmann, Matthias
  • Dovern, Jonas

Abstract

We propose an imperfect information model for the expectations of macroeconomic forecasters that explains differences in average disagreement levels across forecasters by means of cross sectional heterogeneity in the variance of private noise signals. We show that the forecaster-specific signal-to-noise ratios determine both the average individual disagreement level and an individuals' forecast performance: forecasters with very noisy signals deviate strongly from the average forecasts and report forecasts with low accuracy. We take the model to the data by empirically testing for this implied correlation. Evidence based on data from the Surveys of Professional Forecasters for the US and for the Euro Area supports the model for short- and medium-run forecasts but rejects it based on its implications for long-run forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Hartmann, Matthias & Dovern, Jonas, 2016. "Forecast Performance, Disagreement, and Heterogeneous Signal-to-Noise Ratios," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145925, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145925
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Ahrens, Steffen & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Tettamanzi, Michele, 2018. "The stabilizing role of forward guidance: A macro experiment," BERG Working Paper Series 137, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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