• Focus Area -
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 1 October 2016


We examine quarterly oil price forecasts from the Survey of Professional Forecasters conducted by the European Central Bank. We present three empirical findings, all of which are robust to the number of respondents considered. First, the dispersion of forecasts is correlated positively with the average forecast error for all forecast horizons. Second, at the current and next quarter horizons, the oil price volatility observed through to the end of the forecast horizon statistically explains the disagreement among oil forecasters. Third, we use the disagreement among forecasters to derive a measure of the price volatility which is correlated well with the volatility observed ex post. When the forecast horizon is one quarter ahead, the disagreement-based volatility is equal to the price volatility observed subsequently, plus a small add factor. These results support the view that the disagreement among forecasters reflects the price volatility. © 2016 International Institute of Forecasters.


International Journal of Forecasting


Tarek Atalla

Tarek Atalla

Former Research Associate

Fred Joutz

Fred Joutz

Axel Pierru

Vice President of Knowledge & Analysis Axel Pierru was appointed Vice President of Knowledge and Analysis by the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC in December 2023.… Axel Pierru was appointed Vice President of Knowledge and Analysis by the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC in December 2023. In this role, he oversees and provides thought leadership to KAPSARC’s research and analysis activities. He joined KAPSARC in 2011, after spending 15 years at IFP Energies Nouvelles in France where he led research and consulting projects and taught energy economics and finance to postgraduate students. He has served in various leadership roles at KAPSARC, including serving as interim Vice President for Research. From 2014 to 2023 he was a program director, leading the Energy Systems & Modeling, Energy & Macroeconomics, and Energy Macro & Micro-Economics research programs. Dr. Pierru earned his Ph.D. in economics from University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (France). He also holds an HDR degree, which is a French accreditation to supervise research. In 2007, Dr. Pierru was awarded Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (knighthood award in the academic field) by the French Ministry for National Education. He is an editor of The Energy Journal, as well as the corecipient of the 2023 OPEC Award for the Best Energy Research Paper, a first-time honor from OPEC. He leads the Knowledge & Analysis team in designing applied research that blends methodological innovation with practical significance for policymaking. His expertise covers energy economics, policy and finance, the oil market, energy transitions, and commodity-exporting economies. Dr. Pierru has a proven track record of methodological innovations with over 50 journal papers to his name. He has been a key contributor to developing new research avenues, such as the role of OPEC in stabilizing the oil market, the economic modeling of price controls, or the evaluation of investment projects by international oil companies facing various tax systems. He also coauthored with Denis Babusiaux the book Corporate Investment Decisions and Economic Analysis: Exercises and Case Studies (2005), a culmination of years of teaching, consulting, and research.


  • Energy modelling
  • Energy economics
  • Energy policy
  • Oil pricing and finance

Publications See all Axel Pierru’s publications

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