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.