We propose a new approach to test the full-information rational expectations hypothesis which can identify whether rejections of the arise from information rigidities. This approach quantifies the economic significance of departures from the and the underlying degree of information rigidity. Applying this approach to U.S. and international data of professional forecasters and other agents yields pervasive evidence consistent with the presence of information rigidities. These results therefore provide a set of stylized facts which can be used to calibrate imperfect information models. Finally, we document evidence of state-dependence in the expectations formation process.
Jacopo Cimadomo, Peter Claeys, and Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro
This paper assesses how forecasting experts form their expectations about future government bond spreads. Using monthly survey forecasts for France, Italy and the United Kingdom between January 1993 and October 2014, we test whether respondents consider the expected evolution of the fiscal balance—and other economic fundamentals—to be significant drivers of the expected bond yield differential over a benchmark German 10-year bond. Our main result is that a projected improvement of the fiscal outlook significantly reduces expected sovereign spreads. This suggests that credible fiscal plans affect market experts’ expectations and reduce the pressure on sovereign bond markets. In addition, we show that expected fundamentals generally play a more important role in explaining forecasted spreads compared to realized spreads.