The Status of Evaluating Accuracy of Regional Forecasts
Recent reviews of the regional growth and change literature conclude that the strand of research attempting to identify determinants of growth in general terms has been reasonably successful, but the strand attempting to provide public policy direction has been far less successful. A critical distinction between these two strands is that the former studies the past while the latter makes a forecast. One of the reasons we may not have been particularly effective in guiding public policy is that we haven't addressed the question, Is the accuracy of our regional forecasting record acceptable? This paper reviews the literature on evaluating regional forecast accuracy, discusses the question of When is a regional forecast 'accurate'? and outlines how accuracy analysis can be used to improve forecast precision. A concluding section suggests possible avenues for future research.
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