The status of budget forecasting

Daniel W. Williams, Thad D. Calabrese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article examines the breadth of the current forecast literature as it relates to public budget making. It serves to provide summary information to decision-makers who otherwise do not have the resources to learn more than a small amount focused on much more narrowly defined areas of forecasting (such as the politics of forecast bias). Next, it serves those who perform forecasting related to budgeting by reviewing the current methods and practices commonly used in this domain. It also provides a ground level for future public budget forecasting research. Finally, this article identifies several areas in which the public forecasting literature needs additional development. Several of these areas, such as the effectiveness of nonregression-based forecasting techniques, are quite important to the majority of governments in the United States and other subnational jurisdictions, where budget offices are limited and resource investments in technology are scarce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-160
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Balanced Budget
  • Budget Forecast
  • Expenditure
  • Revenue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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