Forecasting Business Conditions

By Charles O. Hardy; Garfield V. Cox | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE HARVARD ECONOMIC SERVICE

Among the services which we have described, none relies so largely upon the method of historical comparison as does the Harvard Economic Service. Its basic assumption is that a sequence of economic events which has obtained throughout the recent past may be counted upon to persist during the near future. To establish such a sequence Professor Warren M. Persons, on behalf of the Harvard University Committee on Economic Research,1 carried through in 1918 and 1919 what is probably the most painstaking statistical study yet made by any forecasting agency. The sequence of events finally chosen as the basis of its forecasts is, as has previously been mentioned, very nearly the same as that relied upon by the Brookmire Economic Service prior to 1920. But the results of the Harvard Uni

____________________
1
The Harvard University Committee on Economic Research, of which Professor Charles J. Bullock is Chairman, is a body appointed by Harvard University for the purpose of undertaking economic research. The Committee does not itself engage in research activities or in publication, but is the governing body under whose control the staff of the Harvard Economic Service operates. The activities of the Service consist of research in the field of economic statistics, and the publication of the Review of Economic Statistics and the Weekly Letter. These publications, which are furnished to subscribers to the Service, embody the results of historical and theoretical research in the general field of business cycles. and also current statistics, analysis of current developments, and business forecasts. The Committee works in cooperation with Committees in England, France, and Italy.

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