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date: 29 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines forecasts reported in surveys, expositing several logical issues that arise when interpreting and combining heterogeneous forecasts. Understanding these issues is a prerequisite for meaningful use of the data collected in existing surveys, and it may enable design of more informative surveys. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 considers the proper interpretation of point predictions of uncertain events. Section 3 explains the simple, but underappreciated, logical basis for a pervasive empirical finding on the performance of consensus forecasts of real-valued events, while Section 4 calls attention to the problem of assessing the temporal variation of forecasts made by panels of forecasters.

Keywords: economic forecasts, surveys, point predictions, uncertain events, consensus forecasts, real-valued events, temporal variation

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