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Forecasting has long been a core activity involving most if not all organizations. However, it is only relatively recently that it has become an area of intensive research. The earliest research was based in the core quantitative disciplines of statistics and econometrics. However, prior to 1981 there were relatively few articles whose primary focus was forecasting but with the founding of, first the Journal of Forecasting and then, in 1985, the International Journal of Forecasting, the field rapidly developed its own methodological perspectives.

At its heart, forecasting is concerned with evaluating alternative approaches to particular forecasting problems. Parts I and II cover the core methodologies of forecasting. Part III examines the evaluation of different forecasting methods and how to choose between them. Part IV includes studies that are specific to particular problem areas. This collection has interdisciplinary appeal and will appeal to researchers in business and management, organization studies, politics, and psychology.

Editors’ Introduction to the Series: Forecasting

RobertFildes and P.GeoffreyAllen

A Brief History of Forecasting Research1

Forecasting has a lengthy history going back at least to Greece and the Delphic Oracle. Nor was it always a glorious history; forecasting was sometimes regarded as a crime punishable by death. More formal forecasting methods applied to natural phenomena such as sun spots and the weather have long been studied, the former going back to the 18th century, but it is only relatively recently that economic and business forecasting, the topics of these benchmark volumes, have become areas of intensive research. For example, all the books published in the 19th century with forecasting in their title were concerned with the weather. But by 1930, we start to see the emergence of ...

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