Comparing the point predictions and subjective probability distributions of professional forecasters

Joseph Engelberg*, Charles F. Manski, Jared Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use data from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) to compare point predictions of gross domestic product (GDP) growth and inflation with the subjective probability distributions held by forecasters. We find that most SPF point predictions are quite close to the central tendencies of forecasters' subjective distributions. We also find that the deviations between point predictions and the central tendencies of forecasters' subjective distributions tend to be asymmetric, with SPF forecasters tending to report point predictions that give a more favorable view of the economy than do their subjective means/medians/modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business and Economic Statistics
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Keywords

  • Point estimates
  • Probabilistic questions
  • Professional forecasters
  • Subjective probability distributions
  • Survey methods
  • Survey of professional forecasters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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