The history of forecasting goes back at least as far as the Oracle at Delphi in Greece. Stripped of its mystique, this was what we now refer to as “unaided judgment,” the only forecasting method available for centuries. As a formal area of study, the earliest examples are from the weather forecasters of the 19th century. The early years of the 20th century saw increasing interest in business and economic forecasting, which is the focus of this article. Novel methods were applied to agricultural yields and prices as well as analysis of the business cycle. Researchers became interested in both methods and in producers of forecasts who may or may not use formal methods. Construction of macroeconomic models occurred in the 1940s associated with the work of the Cowles Commission. As the first computers became available, these models were estimated and used for forecasting. The 1970s marked the era of univariate forecasting; ARIMA modeling and exponential smoothing both date from this time and are widely used today in business forecasting. The 1980s saw an increasing institutionalization of the subject and increasing exchange between the different groups of researchers, economists, statisticians, engineers and, later, psychologists. The Journal of Forecasting and subsequently the International Journal of Forecasting were founded; both aimed to integrate the disparate aspects of forecasting. It was also the era of some major forecasting developments: unit-root testing, vector autoregression, cointegration, state-space modeling, and ARCH modeling. Questions about the best forecasting method were tested in “competitions” between methods, but clear answers were not forthcoming. As computing power has continued to increase, more sophisticated and complex forecasting methods have emerged, in particular the methods of neural networks. As to the future of forecasting, it seems a safe bet that we will see computing power used to handle more data, more nonlinear methods, more emphasis on forecast distributions and perhaps more on the limitations of business and economic forecasting and the strategies that should be followed. After introducing books and papers that examine the breadth of forecasting, this bibliography’s structure recognizes that the fundamental methods of business and economic forecasting: judgment, extrapolative time series methods and econometrics still have distinct development paths. The newer area of computationally intensive methods, often applied to predicting individual consumer behavior, is included separately. Forecasting software is also surveyed briefly, as its dissemination has been critical both to research innovation and to changes in forecasting practice. Finally, the bibliography covers various important areas of application.
Textbooks and Overviews
Books on forecasting range widely: from the specialist and historical to popular overviews of the subject such as The Signal and the Noise (Silver 2012). Silver’s expertise in US election forecasting generated massive publicity as to the importance of identifying the useful information in data (the signal) and eliminating randomness (noise). Effectively the book proposes an argument that valuable forecasts are best produced through the careful analysis and modeling of data. Undergraduate- or graduate-level textbooks come in two categories: generalist and those that focus primarily on a particular set of methods such as time series. Generalist studies include Makridakis, et al. 1998 and Wilson, et al. 2009, as well as Hyndman and Athanasopoulos 2014 and Ord and Fildes 2013. Diebold 2007 offers a more theoretical perspective. Armstrong 2001 is a collection of chapters written by leading forecasters, built around a set of principles and intended as a reference guide to both researchers and practitioners. Allen and Fildes 2011 contains many of the seminal articles in the field.
Allen, P. G., and R. Fildes, eds. Handbook of Business and Economic Forecasting. 5 vols. London: SAGE, 2011.
Contains seventy-seven reprints published from 1960 onward, covering much the same range as this bibliography. Includes a historical introduction to the subject and its various subfields.
Armstrong, J. Scott, ed. Principles of Forecasting: A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners. New York: Springer Science + Business Media, 2001.
Consists of thirty chapters by some forty different authors covering all aspects of qualitative and quantitative forecasting, reviewing methods, evaluation, and applications mostly written in a non-technical style. Built around a set of principles, usually supported with evidence of their effectiveness. The principles, and any new additions, are listed on the companion website online. A core reference book.
Diebold, Francis X. Elements of Forecasting. 4th ed. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2007.
Advanced undergraduate level, requiring some background in statistics. Covers graphic analysis, various univariate methods, cycles, some limited discussion of regression and the more advanced topics of unit roots and volatility measurement. Includes instructor resources.
Hyndman, Rob J., and George Athanasopoulos. Forecasting Principles and Practice. Heathmont, Australia: OTexts, 2014.
Available online and as a textbook. For undergraduates and practitioners with knowledge of basic algebra. Many real-world examples are given. Uses R for analysis and emphasizes graphical presentation. Covers judgmental forecasting, regression, time-series decomposition, smoothing, ARIMA models, and advanced forecasting methods.
Makridakis, Spyros, Stephen C. Wheelwright, and Rob J. Hyndman. Forecasting: Methods and Applications. 3d ed. New York: Wiley, 1998.
One of the first books to cover forecasting as it is practiced. Does not require much statistical background beyond an introductory course.
Ord, Keith, and Robert Fildes. Principles of Business Forecasting. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2013.
For undergraduates, specialist masters, and practitioners. Requires limited statistics background. General principles guide and simplify forecasting practice. Uses real data sets and a variety of software and also covers extrapolative methods (exponential smoothing, ARIMA), multiple regression, data mining, and judgmental methods. Discusses forecasting applications in operations and marketing, organizing forecasting support systems, and dealing with uncertainty. Includes instructor resources.
Silver, Nate. The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction. New York and London: Penguin, 2012.
An entertaining introduction to various important topics in forecasting, many of which Silver has worked on, including elections, poker, weather, climate and economics. Contains many sensible principles but no modeling; in essence it is an argument for careful data analysis and modeling.
Wilson, J. Holton, Barry Keating, and John Galt Solutions. Business Forecasting with ForecastXTM. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
Introductory textbook that includes standard forecasting methods but also an introduction to data mining. A number of mini-cases are included and has limited discussion of regression modeling and no discussion of judgmental methods. Relies on Galt’s software solution, ForecastXTM, a student edition of which is included.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
- Abusive Supervision
- Applied Political Risk Analysis
- Approaches to Social Responsibility
- Assessment Centers: Theory, Practice and Research
- Authentic Leadership
- Bayesian Statistics
- Behavior, Organizational
- Behavioral Approach to Leadership
- Behavioral Theory of the Firm
- Between Organizations, Social Networks in and
- Brokerage in Networks
- Career Studies
- Charismatic and Innovative Team Leadership By and For Mill...
- Computational Modeling
- Conflict Management
- Corporate Social Performance
- Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB)
- Cross-Cultural Communication
- Cross-Cultural Management
- Cultural Intelligence
- Culture, Organization
- Data Analytic Methods
- Decision Making
- Emotional Labor
- Employee Aging
- Employee Voice
- Empowerment, Psychological
- Entrepreneurship, Corporate
- Entrepreneurship, Women's
- Equal Employment Opportunity
- Faking in Personnel Selection
- Family Business, Managing
- Financial Markets in Organization Theory and Economic Soci...
- Findings, Reporting Research
- Fit, Person-Environment
- Goal Setting
- Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions
- Human Capital Pipelines
- Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Management, Strategic
- Human Resources, Global
- Human Rights
- Humility in Management
- Impression Management at Work
- Innovative Behavior
- Intelligence, Emotional
- International Economic Development and SMEs
- International Economic Systems
- International Strategic Alliances
- Job Analysis and Competency Modeling
- Job Crafting
- Job Design
- Job Satisfaction
- Leader-Member Exchange
- Leadership Development
- Leadership Development and Organizational Change, Coaching...
- Leadership, Ethical
- Leadership, Global and Comparative
- Leadership, Strategic
- Management History
- Management In Antiquity
- Meaningful Work
- Multinational Corporations and Emerging Markets
- Neo-institutional Theory
- Neuroscience, Organizational
- Organization Design, Global
- Organization Development and Change
- Organization Theory
- Organizational Adaptation
- Organizational Behavior, Emotions in
- Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs)
- Organizational Corruption
- Organizational Identity
- Organizational Justice
- Organizational Legitimacy
- Organizational Networks
- Organizational Performance, Personality Theory and
- Organizational Responsibility
- Organizational Surveys, Driving Change Through
- Organizations, Big Data in
- Organizations, Political Ideology in
- Organizations, Social Identity Processes in
- Pay for Skills, Knowledge, and Competencies
- People Analytics
- Performance Appraisal
- Planning And Goal Setting
- Psychological Contracts
- Regional Entrepreneurship
- Reputation, Organizational Image and
- Research, Ethics in
- Research, Longitudinal
- Research Methods
- Research Methods, Qualitative
- Resource-Dependence Theory
- Response Surface Analysis, Polynomial Regression and
- Role of Time in Organizational Studies
- Safety, Work Place
- Selection, Applicant Reactions to
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy In Management
- Self-Management and Personal Agency
- Service Management
- Shared Team Leadership
- Status in Organizations
- Strategic Human Capital
- Strategy and Cognition
- Structural Contingency Theory/Information Processing Theor...
- Team Conflict
- Team Newcomers
- Teams, Global
- Technology and Innovation Management
- Technology, Organizational Assessment and
- the Workplace, Millennials in
- Theory X and Theory Y
- Time and Motion Studies
- Training and Development
- Training Evaluation
- Unobtrusive Measures
- Virtual Teams
- Work and Family: An Organizational Science Overview
- Work Contexts, Nonverbal Communication in
- Work, Mindfulness at
- Workplace Commitment
- Workplace Gossip
- Workplace Meetings
- Workplace, Spiritual Leadership in the
- World War II, Management Research during