Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Some new indicators and procedure to get additional information from the Business Tendency Surveys

Fusari, Angelo and Pellissier, Murray (2008): Some new indicators and procedure to get additional information from the Business Tendency Surveys.

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This paper sets out some procedure allowing to deriving new information from the Business Tendency Surveys. Precisely, the volatility of respondents’ opinions will be computed that can be interpreted as a measure of radical (or true) uncertainty. This measure is strongly recommended by the present economic crisis originated by financial markets that the dominating idea of the impossibility of measuring and hence monitoring radical uncertainty has contributed to consign to an unconstrained and destabilizing speculation. Moreover, some indicators of the persistence of each modality of answer are proposed, as well as a correction of the usual percent of the modalities of survey answers that attributes a higher weight to the answers that do not change in successive survey periods. This correction is mainly suggested by the fact that the degree of persistence of respondents’ opinions is an important sign of entrepreneurs and firms’ behaviour and decisionmaking. The modified percents of the modalities of answers are confronted to the usual ones, and some econometric estimations are provided. The applications use data of the Italian and South African business tendency surveys on a number of variables. The resulting information and elaborations seem to suggest some critical consideration on the content of the harmonized EU surveys, mainly with reference to the reliability of the confidence indicators and the disregard of the volatility of answers with its attitude to provide a meaningful indicator of radical uncertainty

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