Statistical Science

Revisiting Francis Galton’s Forecasting Competition

Kenneth F. Wallis

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This note reexamines the data from a weight-judging competition described in an article by Francis Galton published in 1907. Following the correction of some errors, it is shown that this forecasting competition is an interesting precursor of two more recent developments in the statistical forecasting literature. One is forecast combination, with the mean forecast here exactly coinciding with the outcome, and the second is the use of two-piece frequency and probability distributions to describe asymmetry.

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Statist. Sci., Volume 29, Number 3 (2014), 420-424.

First available in Project Euclid: 23 September 2014

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Forecast competitions forecast combinations two-piece distributions skewness kurtosis the wisdom of crowds


Wallis, Kenneth F. Revisiting Francis Galton’s Forecasting Competition. Statist. Sci. 29 (2014), no. 3, 420--424. doi:10.1214/14-STS468.

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