What Fuels Publication Bias? Theoretical and Empirical Analyses of Risk Factors Using the Caliper Test
AbstractSignificance tests were originally developed to enable more objective evaluations of research results. Yet the strong orientation towards statistical significance encourages biased results, a phenomenon termed “publication bias”. Publication bias occurs whenever the likelihood or time-lag of publication, or the prominence, language, impact factor of journal space or the citation rate of studies depend on the direction and significance of research findings. Although there is much evidence concerning the existence of publication bias in all scientific disciplines and although its detrimental consequences for the progress of the sciences have been known for a long time, all attempts to eliminate the bias have failed. The present article reviews the history and logic of significance testing, the state of research on publication bias, and existing practical recommendations. After demonstrating that more systematical research on the risk factors of publication bias is needed, the paper suggests two new directions for publication bias research. First, a more comprehensive theoretical model based on theories of rational choice and economics as well as on the sociology of science is sketched out. Publication bias is recognized as the outcome of a social dilemma that cannot be overcome by moral pleas alone. Second, detection methods for publication bias going beyond meta-analysis, ones that are more suitable for testing causal hypotheses, are discussed. In particular, the “caliper test” seems well-suited for conducting theoretically motivated comparisons across heterogeneous research fields like sociology. Its potential is demonstrated by testing hypotheses on (a) the relevance of explicitly vs. implicitly stated research propositions and on (b) the relevance of the number of authors on incidence rates of publication bias in 50 papers published in leading German sociology journals.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 231 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Licher Straße 74, 35394 Gießen
Phone: +49 (0)641 99 22 001
Fax: +49 (0)641 99 22 009
Web page: http://wiwi.uni-giessen.de/home/oekonometrie/Jahrbuecher/
More information through EDIRC
Significance testing; publication bias; caliper test; rational choice; sociology of science.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
- C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
- C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Ashenfelter, Orley & Harmon, Colm & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1999. "A review of estimates of the schooling/earnings relationship, with tests for publication bias," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 453-470, November.
- Ashenfelter, O. & Harmon, C. & Oosterbeek, H., 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/ Earnings Relationship, with tests for Publication Bias," Papers 99/20, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," Working Papers 804, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- T.D Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2007. "Identifying and Correcting Publication Selection Bias in the Efficiency-Wage Literature: Heckman Meta-Regression," Economics Series 2007_11, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009.
"Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics,"
NBER Working Papers
14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
- David M Levy & Sandra J Peart, 2008. "Inducing Greater Transparency: Towards the Establishment of Ethical Rules for Econometrics," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(1), pages 103-114, Winter.
- J. Bradford De Long & Kevin Lang, .
"Are All Economic Hypotheses False?,"
J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers
_117, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
- T.D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2009.
"Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox,"
2009_13, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- Stanley, T. D. & Jarrell, Stephen B. & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2010. "Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 64(1), pages 70-77.
- Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
- Michael Graber & Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2008. "Publish or Perish? The Increasing Importance of Publications for Prospective Economics Professors in Austria, Germany and Switzerland," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 457-472, November.
- Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
- Hristos Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley, 2008. "Theory Competition and Selectivity: Are All Economic Facts Greatly Exaggerated?," Economics Series 2008_06, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- Abel Brodeur & Mathias Lé & Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2012.
"Star wars: The empirics strike back,"
PSE Working Papers
- Abel Brodeur & Mathias Lé & Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2012. "Star wars: The empirics strike back," Working Papers halshs-00710122, HAL.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Winker).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.