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Rational bias in macroeconomic forecasts

This paper develops a model of macroeconomic forecasting in which the wages firms pay their forecasters are a function of their accuracy as well as the publicity they generate for their employers by being correct. In the resulting Nash equilibrium, forecasters with identical models, information, and incentives nevertheless produce a variety of predictions in order to maximize their expected wages. In the case of heterogeneous incentives, the forecasters whose wages are most closely tied to publicity, as opposed to accuracy, produce the forecasts that deviate most from the consensus. We find ...
Staff Reports , Paper 21

Model selection criteria for factor-augmented regressions

In a factor-augmented regression, the forecast of a variable depends on a few factors estimated from a large number of predictors. But how does one determine the appropriate number of factors relevant for such a regression? Existing work has focused on criteria that can consistently estimate the appropriate number of factors in a large-dimensional panel of explanatory variables. However, not all of these factors are necessarily relevant for modeling a specific dependent variable within a factor-augmented regression. This paper develops a number of theoretical conditions that selection ...
Staff Reports , Paper 363

Modeling uncertainty: predictive accuracy as a proxy for predictive confidence

This paper evaluates current strategies for the empirical modeling of forecast behavior. In particular, we focus on the reliability of using proxies from time series models of heteroskedasticity to describe changes in predictive confidence. We address this issue by examining the relationship between ex post forecast errors and ex ante measures of forecast uncertainty from data on inflation forecasts from the Survey of Professional Forecasters. The results provide little evidence of a strong link between observed heteroskedasticity in the consensus forecast errors and forecast uncertainty. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 161

What was the market's view of U.K. monetary policy? Estimating inflation risk and expected inflation with indexed bonds

A measure of the credibility of monetary policy is the inflation risk premium in nominal yields. This will be time varying and can be estimated by combining the information in the nominal term structure with that in the real term structure. We estimate these risk premia using a generalized CIR affine-yield model, with one factor driving the real term structure of monthly observations on two-year, five-year and ten-year UK index-linked debt and two factors driving the term structure of the corresponding nominal yields. Our estimates show that the inflation risk premium contributes on average ...
Staff Reports , Paper 57

Journal Article
The Livingston Surveys: a history of hopes and fears

Business Review , Issue Jan , Pages 15-27

Journal Article
How useful are forecasts of corporate profits?

If forecasters predict higher earnings for corporations, the stock market will rise. Stock prices will drop with a forecast of lower earnings. But are such forecasts on the money? Dean Croushore uses data from the Survey of Professional Forecasters to check the accuracy of forecasts of corporate profits. The results show that, despite the volatility of corporate profits, the forecasts are rational
Business Review , Issue Sep , Pages 3-12

Journal Article
The Philadelphia story: a new forecasting model

Several years ago, the Philadelphia Fed developed a small forecasting model for each of the three states in the Third Federal Reserve DistrictCPennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This article introduces a similar model that forecasts major economic variables for the Philadelphia metropolitan area and the city of Philadelphia. Read this article and find out what the model predicts for the metro area and the city
Business Review , Issue Sep , Pages 13-23

Journal Article
Forecasts, indicators and monetary policy

When setting monetary policy, should policymakers target variables such as commodity prices or interest rate spreads, which are sensitive to the market's expectations of inflation? Or are variables such as money growth, which are tied to the underlying causes of inflation and economic growth, better indicators of the economy's path? Keith Sill considers these questions as he reviews indicators past and present
Business Review , Issue May , Pages 3-14

Journal Article
The mismeasured personal saving rate is still useful: using real-time data to improve forecasting

People make decisions based on information. Often, with hindsight, they could have made better choices. Economics faces a similar problem: Economic data, when first released, are often inaccurate and may subsequently be revised. In "The Mismeasured Personal Saving Rate Is Still Useful: Using Real-Time Data to Improve Forecasting," Leonard Nakamura uses the U.S. personal saving rate - a statistic that has often been initially low, then substantially revised upward - to discuss how modern economic statistical techniques can improve forecasting.
Business Review , Issue Q4 , Pages 9-20

Journal Article
Introducing: the survey of professional forecasters

Business Review , Issue Nov , Pages 3-15



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