forecastingprinciples.com Reviews of Important Papers on Forecasting
Before 1985 Reviews
Review of:

Earl J. Baker, S. G. West, D. J. Moss, and J. M. Weyant (1980), "Impact of offshore nuclear power plants: forecasting visits to nearby beaches," Environment and Behavior, 12, 367 – 407.


The authors provide an excellent example of what I call "eclectic research". To forecast the effect of offshore nuclear plants upon the visits to , the authors spread their budget among many methods including: prior research, studies of analogous situations (beaches near land-based nuclear plants), surveys of experts, intentions surveys, and attitude surveys. Each approach suffered from serious problems, yet in total they provided a much more impressive story. Whereas the intentions survey indicated that about one-quarter of the tourists would avoid beaches with offshore nuclear plants, the other methods suggested this to be a substantial overestimate. The authors conclude that 5-10 percent is a reasonable estimate. Floating nuclear plants were not a s important as finding a clean an in crowded beach with nice facilities. (This is one of the few cases where I think it is fortunate that data do not exist to test predictive ability.)