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Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review

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  • T. D. Stanley

Abstract

This paper presents and develops a quantitative method of literature reviewing and evaluating empirical research, meta-regression analysis or MRA. Economics is theory-driven. Yet, we must learn empirically if economics is to advance. MRA offers a more objective statistical method to summarize our empirical knowledge and to explain the wide study-to-study variation in economic research. MRA is used to assess the evidence for Ricardian equivalence, and its findings are contrasted to those of conventional narrative review. Furthermore, MRA establishes a platform from which to distinguish genuine empirical effect from the exploitable specification error that infests applied econometrics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 131-150

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:3:p:131-150

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.131
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  1. Stanley, T. D., 1991. "Let's get serious about Caprice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 37-56.
  2. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 2685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
  5. Stanley, T. D., 2000. "An empirical critique of the Lucas critique," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 91-107.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Ricardian Equivalence: An Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 263-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 7457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stephen B. Jarrell & T. D. Stanley, 1990. "A meta-analysis of the union-nonunion wage gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 54-67, October.
  9. Phillips, Joseph M, 1994. "Farmer Education and Farmer Efficiency: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 149-65, October.
  10. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-90, March.
  11. Peter D. Linneman & Michael L. Wachter & William H. Carter, 1990. "Evaluating the evidence on union employment and wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 34-53, October.
  12. Robert Goldfarb, 1995. "The economist-as-audience needs a methodology of plausible inference," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 201-222.
  13. Doucouliagos, Chris, 1997. "The Aggregate Demand for Labour in Australia: A Meta-analysis," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(69), pages 224-42, December.
  14. Dalamagas, Basil A, 1992. "How Rival Are the Ricardian Equivalence Proposition and the Fiscal Policy Potency View?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(4), pages 457-76, November.
  15. Leonardo Leiderman & Mario I. Blejer, 1988. "Modeling and Testing Ricardian Equivalence: A Survey," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(1), pages 1-35, March.
  16. Sef Baaijens & Peter Nijkamp & Kees Van Montfort, 1998. "Explanatory Meta-analysis for the Comparison and Transfer of Regional Tourist Income Multipliers," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(9), pages 839-849.
  17. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, December.
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