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Long-Range Forecasting (2nd Edition), J. Scott Armstrong, 1985

Cover design of Long-Range       Forecasting (78735 bytes) First published in 1977, Long-Range Forecasting was updated in 1985. A review of the 1st edition was printed in the Atlantic Economic Journal, 1979; in it, Gordon Welty called the book "comprehensive, readable, and witty."

The book is designed to answer the question "Which forecasting method is best to use in a given situation?" Long-Range Forecasting covers judgmental, extrapolation, and econometric methods. The conclusions are based on the author's research as well as on over 1050 books and papers on forecasting in economics, sociology, medicine, politics, weather, finance, personnel, marketing, and other areas. It remains as the only comprehensive summary of research on forecasting prior to 1985.

The second edition of Long Range Forecasting is provided here in full text in Acrobat PDF format (Note: some of the files are quite large and may take a long time to download over a slower Internet connection). Many of the conclusions in Principles of Forecasting: A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners draw upon research summarized in Long-Range Forecasting. In view of this, we have tried to make the book easy to search. Bookmarks for each chapter have been provided; simply set your Acrobat reader to view bookmarks, click on a section, and you will be taken to that page. To search for specific words and phrases, use the Find button (binoculars) and the Find Again button (binoculars with a right arrow). Errata for the book is provided at the end of the Table of Contents.

[The book is now out of print, although used copies and a review are available at amazon.com. Duplicated bound copies are available at $35, which includes tax, shipping, and handling for domestic sales. For foreign sales, include an additional $5 for postage. You can pay by credit card. Send to Campus Copy (Attention: Ronald Shapiro), 3907 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; phone (215) 386-6410; fax (215) 386-6268.]

Table of Contents

Part I - Getting Started

Chapter 1 - Introduction: Introductory Pages, end matter, and pp. 1-11
Preface to 1985 Edition ¤ Acknowledgements ¤ Preface to First Edition ¤ Instructions to the Reader ¤ Contents ¤ Exhibits List ¤ Chapter 1 - Introduction ¤ The Scope of this Book - Forecasting vs. Planning - Forecasting and Decision Making ¤ The Approach Used in LRF ¤ An Overview of the Book ¤ Summary

Chapter 2 - The Systems Approach: pp. 13-22
Description of the Systems Approach - Identifying Objectives - Indicators of Success - Alternative Strategies - Developing Programs ¤ Violating the Systems Approach ¤ Other Good Advice ¤ Summary

Chapter 3 - Implementation: pp. 23-49
A Framework for Implementation ¤ Finding Problems ¤ Agreeing on Problems ¤ Proposing Alternative Solutions ¤ Gaining Commitment - Experimentation - Participation - Feedback ¤ When Commitment Fails ¤ Gaining Acceptance of the Forecast - Prior Commitment - Scenarios - Presenting the Forecast ¤ Summary

Chapter 4 - Research Strategies: pp. 50-68
Using Theory
¤ Decomposition ¤ Eclectic Research - Importance of Eclectic Research - Evidence on Eclectic Research - Multiple Methods and Multiple Hypotheses ¤ Summary

Part II - Forecasting Methods

Chapter 5 - Classifying the Forecasting Methods: pp. 69-78
Subjective vs. Objective Methods
¤ Naive vs. Causal Methods ¤ Linear vs. Classification Methods ¤ Methodology Tree ¤ Describing Forecasting Methods ¤ Summary

Chapter 6 - Judgmental Methods: pp. 79-149
Types of Judgmental Forecasts
- Intentions - Opinions ¤ Errors in Judgment - Bias - Anchoring ¤ Selecting Judges - Intentions - Expert Opinion ¤ Posing the Question - Presenting Information - Scaling - Sensitive Issues ¤ Obtaining the Forecasts - Surveys - Delphi - Traditional Meetings - Structured Meetings - Group Depth Interview - Role Playing - Choosing a Method ¤ Combined Forecasts ¤ Assessing Uncertainty - Self-Assessments - Comparisons among Forecasts ¤ Summary

Chapter 7 - Extrapolation Methods: pp. 151-189
Data for Extrapolation
- Historical Data - Simulated Data ¤ Analyzing the Data - Markov Chains - Exponential Smoothing - Moving Averages - Box-Jenkins - Regressions - Comparisons of Extrapolation Methods - Cycles and Fancy Curves ¤ Combined Forecasts ¤ Assessing Uncertainty ¤ Summary

Chapter 8 - Econometric Methods: pp. 191-247
Conditions Favoring the Use of Econometric Methods
¤ A Priori Analysis - Causal Variables: Less is More - Direction of Relationships - Pattern of Causality - Functional Form - Magnitudes of Relationships - A Priori Model ¤ Stepwise Regression ¤ Objective Data - Multiple Data Sources - A Priori Analysis of the Data ¤ Analyzing the Data - Experience Tables - Regression Analysis - Value of Simplicity ¤ Updating the Estimates ¤ Estimating Current Status ¤ Forecasting Change - Mitigation - Reducing the Errors ¤ Combined Forecasts ¤ Assessing Uncertainty ¤ Summary

Chapter 9 - Segmentation Methods: pp. 249-270
Conditions Favoring Segmentation
¤ Versus Judgmental Methods - Versus Econometric Methods ¤ A Priori Analysis - Select Causal Variables - Specify Causal Variables - Select Cutpoints - Forecast Population by Segment - Forecast Behavior within Segments ¤ Data for Segmentation ¤ Analyzing the Data - Trees - Dependent Segmentation ¤ Current Status vs. Change ¤ Combined Forecasts ¤ Assessing Uncertainty ¤ Summary

Chapter 10 - Bootstrapping and Other Combined Methods: pp. 271-293
Guidelines for Combining Methods
¤ Bootstrapping - Direct Bootstrapping - Indirect Bootstrapping - Accuracy of Bootstrapping - When to Use Bootstrapping ¤ Econometric Methods Within Segments ¤ Leading Indicators ¤ Combined Forecasts ¤ Uncertainty ¤ Summary

Part III - Evaluation

Chapter 11 - Evaluation Schemes: pp. 295-320
Multiple Models
¤ When and What to Evaluate - A Priori Framework - A Posteriori Framework - Inputs and Outputs ¤ Evaluating Acceptability ¤ Evaluating Quality - From the Real World to the Assumptions - From the Assumptions to the Model - From the Model to the Outputs - From the Outputs to the Real World ¤ Scoresheet for Evaluating Models ¤ Evaluating the Forecasting System ¤ Summary

Chapter 12 - Testing Inputs: pp.321-331
Validity and Reliability
¤ Testing the Model Building Process ¤ Testing the Variables ¤ Testing the Relationships ¤ Summary

Chapter 13 - Testing Outputs: pp. 333-361
Conditional vs. Unconditional Forecasts
¤ Situations for Testing Outputs - Calibration - Concurrent Validity - Forecast Validity - Backcast Validity - Ranking the Validation Tests ¤ Testing Accuracy - Measure of Accuracy - Rating the Measures of Accuracy - Statistical and Practical Significance - Popularity of the Criteria - Benchmarks for Accuracy ¤ Summary

Part IV - Comparing Methods

Chapter 14 - Cost and Benefits of the Forecasting Methods: pp. 363-386
Developmental Costs
¤ Maintenance Costs ¤ Operating Costs ¤ Assessing Uncertainty ¤ Assessing Alternative Futures ¤ Learning - Problems with Judgmental Learning - Improving Judgmental Learning ¤ Summary

Chapter 15 - An Evaluation of Accuracy: pp. 387-420
Value of Improving Accuracy
¤ Describing the Forecasting Situation - Complexity of the Behavior - Knowledge About the Situation - Change in the Environment ¤ Hypotheses on Accuracy of Methods vs. Situations ¤ Objective vs. Subjective Methods - Small Changes–Few Data - Small Changes–Many Data - Large Changes–Few Data - Large Changes–Many Data ¤ Naive vs. Causal Methods - Survey of Experts - Empirical Evidence ¤ Linear vs. Classification Methods - Few Data–Minor Data Problems - Few Data–Major Data Problems - Many Data–Minor Data Problems - Many Data–Major Data Problems ¤ Summary

Part V - Commencement

Chapter 16 - Trends in the Use of Forecasting Methods: pp. 421-430
From Subjective to Objective
¤ From Naive to Causal ¤ From Classification to Linear and Back Again ¤ Trends in Long-Range Forecasting ¤ The Rain Dance ¤ Summary

Chapter 17 - Research on Forecasting Methods: pp. 431-446
Persistence of Folklore
¤ Research Strategies ¤ Specific Research Areas - Implementation - Judgment - Extrapolation - Econometrics - Segmentation - Bootstrapping - Combined Forecasts ¤ Meta-Analysis ¤ Summary

Appendices: pp. 447-495

A. On the Value of Improved Accuracy in Forecasting
B. Effect of Errors in Measurement on Extrapolations
C. Tables for Statistical Significance with Multiple Comparisons
D. Brief Guide to Sources Useful in Forecasting
E. The Value of Decomposition: A Theoretical Argument
F. Comments and Answers to Questions
G. Rules for Cheaters
H. The Virtue of Simplicity
I. The Wizard Who Oversimplified a Fable
J. Forecast Accuracy of Simple vs. Sophisticated Extrapolation Methods

Glossary: pp. 497-512

Symbols and Acronyms
Glossary of Terms A-Z

References, with Ratings and Annotations: pp 513-575

Updated Bibliography, 1977-1985, with Summaries: pp. 577-652

People Index: pp. 653-669

Subject Index: pp. 671-685

Errata for Long-Range Forecasting