Is a Group of Economists Better than One? Than None?

J. OF BUSINESS, Vol. 69 No. 2, April 1996

Posted: 3 Jul 1998

See all articles by John R. Graham

John R. Graham

Duke University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

Can economists forecast the direction of economic growth? Casual observation indicates that individual economists make poor predictions of economic growth and that their forecasts are highly correlated. This paper examines the loss of information resulting from correlation and develops a method of combining forecasts which are cross-sectionally correlated. This approach greatly increases the accuracy of near-term forecasts of the direction of economic growth, although the individual with the best historical performance is better over longer horizons. Overall, when the data are properly aggregated, economists predict the direction of near-term economic growth and call turning points reasonably well.

JEL Classification: B41, O47

Suggested Citation

Graham, John Robert, Is a Group of Economists Better than One? Than None?. J. OF BUSINESS, Vol. 69 No. 2, April 1996, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=7271

John Robert Graham (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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