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Working Paper

Surveys of Professionals

This chapter provides an overview of surveys of professional forecasters, with a focus on the U.S. Survey of Professional Forecasters and the European Central Bank Survey of Professional Forecasters. A distinguishing feature of these surveys is that they collect point and density forecasts and make the data publicly available. We discuss their structure, issues involved in using the data, and the construction of measures such as disagreement and uncertainty at the aggregate and individual levels. Our review also summarizes the findings of studies exploring issues such as the alignment of point forecasts with measures of central tendency from associated density forecasts, the coverage of density forecasts, the rounding of point and density forecasts, comparisons of forecast accuracy across respondents, and heterogeneity in forecast behavior and the persistence of these differential features. We conclude with some observations for future work.

Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Clements, Michael P., Robert W. Rich, and Joseph Tracy. 2022. “Surveys of Professionals.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 22-13.