Reviews of Important Papers on Forecasting,
1985-1995 Reviews
Review of:

Howard A. Frank and Jane McCollough (1992) "Municipal forecasting practice: ‘Demand’ and ‘supply’ side perspectives," International Journal of Public Administration, 15,  1669 – 1696.

This paper presents the results of a survey of the government Finance Officers Association in 1990. Responses were received from 290 of these practitioners, a 41% response rate. The most widely utilized forecasting method was judgment (used by 82% of the respondents). This was followed by trend lines (52%), regression (26%), and moving averages (26%). Interestingly, only 10% used exponential smoothing. To determine why there is such little use of formal methods, Frank and McCollough looked at the training of those in public administration. They did this by examining the forecasting content of 18 financial management texts. Only 2% of the pages addressed forecasting, and these discussions were typically done in a general way, such that the reader would not be told how to forecast properly. Surprisingly, the widespread availability of forecasting software appears to have had little impact to date.