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Accuracy in the long run--Where are we now

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  • Cole, Hsd

Abstract

Long-term forecasting must be viewed as informative speculation about the future. It should be credited with relatively little scientific authenticity. At the present stage of theory and data, no magic methods can be expected to overcome the problem of satisfactory forecasting. Improvement, however, is certainly not just a question of putting more and more variables and more and more numbers into a computer. Methods which indicate how to cushion against uncertainty and methods which bring a greater awareness of options for the future are essential if we are to gain greater control over events. The hazy images of the long-term future which are generated by scenario and other forms of analysis form the guidelines within which short and especially medium-term choices must be made. But in the end we must recognise the inherent limitations of forecasting and forecasting methods and think of forecasting not so much as a method of prediction but as a contribution to tackling the future in a more integrated sense.

Suggested Citation

  • Cole, Hsd, 1977. "Accuracy in the long run--Where are we now," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 529-542.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:5:y:1977:i:5:p:529-542
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