Seminar IV

Friday 21 April h 16-19 – Forecasting and expectations in economic modelling
Aula 8 SSSUP

h 16.00
Macroeconomic Models: VARs, Factor Models, Prediction, Interpretation

by Prof. Marco Lippi, EIEF

Theory and empirical research on agents’ expectations should take into
account standard forecasting  methods: ARMA, VARMA, Factor Models, Shrinking
Techniques, etc. The talk will concentrate on linear models, Factor Models in particular,
and discuss (i) recent theoretical and empirical results on forecasting, including
the case of unstable datasets (The Great Recession in particular), (ii) the consequences
of the existence of competing forecasts for the Theory of Expectations.
Incidentally, it will be shown that important problems like aggregation  and fundamentalness  find a possible solution within factor models-

h 17.30

Rational Heuristics? Expectations and Behaviors in Evolving Economies with Heterogeneous, Interacting Agents
by Prof. Tania Treibich, Maastricht University

In this work we study the individual and macroeconomic impact of heterogeneous expectations and action rules within an agent-based model populated by heterogeneous, interacting firms. Agents have to cope with a complex, evolving economy characterized by deep uncertainty resulting from technical change, imperfect information and coordination hurdles. In these circumstances, we find that neither individual nor macroeconomic dynamics improve when agents replace myopic expectations with less naïve learning rules. In fact, more sophisticated recursive least squares (RLS) expectations produce less accurate individual forecasts and also considerably worsen the performance of the economy. Our results suggest that fast and frugal robust heuristics are not a second-best option: rather they are “rational” in macroeconomic environments with heterogeneous, interacting agents. Finally, we experiment with agents that adjust simply to technological shocks, and we show that individual and aggregate performances dramatically degrade.