NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Joseph Engelberg

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January 2006Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters
with Charles F. Manski, Jared Williams: w11978
We use data from the Survey of Professional Forecasters to compare point forecasts of GDP growth and inflation with the subjective probability distributions held by forecasters. We find that SPF forecasters summarize their underlying distributions in different ways and that their summaries tend to be favorable relative to the central tendency of the underlying distributions. We also find that those forecasters who report favorable point estimates in the current survey tend to do so in subsequent surveys. These findings, plus the inescapable fact that point forecasts reveal nothing about the uncertainty that forecasters feel, suggest that the SPF and similar surveys should not ask for point forecasts. It seems more reasonable to elicit probabilistic expectations and derive measures of centr...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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