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Семинар "Качество бизнес-прогнозов и их экономические следствия"

(рук. В.И.Данилов, В.М.Полтерович)

26 февраля, во вторник, в 11-30 в ауд. 520

состоится доклад А.В. Белянина (ГУ-ВШЭ) и С.П. Аукуционека (ИМЭМО)
"Качество бизнес - прогнозов и их экономические следствия"


Quality of managerial forecasts and their economic consequences
Качество бизнес - прогнозов и их экономические следствия ).

Alexis V.Belianin (ГУ-ВШЭ) and Sergei P.Aukutsionek (ИМЭМО )



Common-sense economic wisdom suggests that good forecasting ability is one of the major virtues of a good manager, and an important component of business success. Inasmuch as business firms in real world operate under risk, managerial ability to predict future demand and/or changes in the supply conditions are instrumental in booking cheaper and/or more appropriate resources as needed to produce the optimum volume of output.

Nevertheless, extensive studies suggest that individual perceptions of uncertain events are subject to various 'heuristics and biases' whose origins are deeply rooted in the nature of human judgment. And - hardly less importantly - these biases extent to judgments about own perceptive abilities, leading to typical overconfidence in one's beliefs. In psychology literature, this phenomenon is known as calibration of business forecasts (Lichtenstein e.a. 1982; Wright and Ayton 1987). Along with other features of human judgment, this phenomenon has clear implications for economics, and in particular for the theory of firm behaviour under risk. Indeed, such misperceptions and biases imply that managerial decision under uncertainty are likely to systematically deviate from theoretical predictions, suggesting revision of classical results by Sandmo (1970), Baron (1970), Leland (1972) and others. In turn, such deviations from theoretical first-best outcomes should be reflected in observable variables characterizing firm performance - in particular, leading to lower profitability and worse overall performance.

In our earlier paper (Aukutsionek and Belianin, 2001) we have reported extensive empirical evidence on poor calibration of business forecasts observed on a panel data representative sample of Russian firms. The main message of that paper was that the managerial abilities to form adequate business forecasts, and especially managers' assessment of this ability (calibration of forecasts) is typically poor or very poor. The present paper explores the theoretical implications of this phenomenon in terms of the theory of firm behaviour under risk, based on both classical theory of the firm and more recent insights from behavioural economics. In particular, we show that overconfidence leads to systematic distortions of the first-best decision of the firm towards overproduction, and that this result can be optimal for the manager who attaches positive values to the validity of own forecasts. Predictions of the model are tested using the same data sample, together with a discussion of economic implications of this phenomenon.

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