ESRI Discussion Paper Series No.227
How Different Are Non-specialists' Forecasts from Specialists'?

Nobuo IIZUKA
Senior Economist, Japan Center for Economic Research
Masaaki KAWAGOE
Special Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

The full text is written in Japanese.

Abstract

This paper conducts a survey asking economists, but not specialists of forecasting, to submit their forecasts of real GDP growth and CPI inflation rates for 2007Q4, 2008Q1 and FY 2009, and compares the responses with the corresponding results of the ESP forecasts, a monthly survey of professional forecasters. The specialists turn out to be superior to the non-specialists in foresting for very short time period, especially predicting changes due to time specific factors. The non-specialists seem to tend to extrapolate recently available data, but their heterogeneous information sets are likely to make their forecasts scatter wider apart than specialists'. This may imply a possibility that the heterogeneous information held by non-specialists could improve accuracy of the consensus forecasts calculated from specialists' forecasts.

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