Forecasting encompasses the analysis and application of methods to determine future developments or events. In contrast to planning, which is concerned with what the future should look like, forecasting is concerned with what the future will be like. The quality of political and managerial decision-making depends on reliable forecasts of future developments such as economic growth, unemployment, and birth rates, the demand of alternative technologies and public transportation, or variations in global temperature. Thus, forecasting helps to evaluate different plans and is a prerequisite for shaping the future.
The goal of this CAS research focus is to establish and advance forecasting theory and practice by conducting research in an interdisciplinary setting. In testing and developing forecasting principles for different fields of applications, the proposed project aims at contributing to existing knowledge about how to forecast. In order to make forecasting accessible to a potentially broad public, a special focus will be on predicting national elections in Germany and the U.S., which commonly generate wide media attention. The research will aim at developing models that can aid political decision makers in questions such as who to nominate or which issues to emphasize in the campaign. Thereby, a particular focus will be on simple methods, which are easy to describe, easy to understand, and thus easy to use in practice.
The project team consists of LMU researchers from different disciplines, such as communication, political science, and statistics.
LMU Lehrinnovationspreis 2013
Professors Helmut Küchenhoff (statistics) and Paul W. Thurner (political science) were awarded the LMU Lehrinnovationspreis 2013 for their course "Interdisciplinary election research/voter migration in Munich in the 2013 state and federal elections". The stay of Professor Kevin Quinn (UC Berkeley School of Law), who was invited as part of the CAS focus "Forecasting Politics" and was a guest at the LMU Munich in summer 2013, also contributed to the success of the research and teaching project.