by Helena Witzke
Dr. Matthew L. Higgins, associate professor of economics, has edited a new book assessing economic forecasting methods in the wake of one of the greatest recent economic downturns—the “Great Recession.”
“Advances in Economic Forecasting,” published in November by the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, features six papers presented for WMU’s 2009–10 Werner Sichel Lecture-Seminar Series. “Advances in Economic Forecasting” carefully critiques current modeling techniques used for predicting economic trends, and weighs the data sources used in these techniques.
By and large, the economics profession did not predict the recession, and this fact is used to ground the book. “Advances in Economic Forecasting” discusses the need and gives suggestions for the improvement of economic forecasting. Higgins uses the voices and stances of the different authors in order to create an open discussion amongst some of the premier members of the profession, creating a continuous conversation for the improvement of current predictive models.
Higgins has been a faculty member for 16 years. He focuses his research on econometric methods for understanding how uncertainty about the future affects the economy. Presently, Higgins is studying the process of professionals’ creation of an accurate consensus on future trends.