Commentators often lament forecasters' inability to provide precise predictions of the long-run behavior of complex economic and physical systems. Yet their concerns often conflate the presence of substantial long-run uncertainty with the need for long-run predictability; short-run predictions can partially substitute for long-run predictions if decision-makers can adjust their activities over time. So what is the relative importance of short- and long-run predictability? We study this question in a model of rational dynamic adjustment to a changing environment. Even if adjustment costs, discount factors, and long-run uncertainty are large, short-run predictability can be much more important than long-run predictability.
Millner, Antony, and Daniel Heyen.
"Prediction: The Long and the Short of It."
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
Firm Behavior: Theory
Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
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