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Natural funnel asymmetries. A simulation analysis of the three basic tools of meta analysis

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Author Info

  • Martin Paldam

    ()
    (School of Economics and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark)

  • Laurent Callot

    (School of Economics and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Abstract

Meta-analysis studies a set of estimates of one parameter with three basic tools: The funnel diagram is the distribution of the estimates as a function of their precision; the funnel asymmetry test, FAT; and the meta average, where PET is an estimate. The FAT-PET MRA is a meta regression analysis, on the data of the funnel, which jointly estimates the FAT and the PET. Ideal funnels are lean and symmetric. Empirical funnels are wide, and most have asymmetries biasing the plain average. Many asymmetries are due to censoring made during the research-publication process. The PET is tooled to correct the average for censoring. We show that estimation faults and misspecification may cause natural asymme¬tries, which the PET does not correct. If the MRA includes controls for omitted variables, the PET does correct for omitted variables bias. Thus, it is important to know the reason for an asymmetry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2010-01.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 14 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2010-01

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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Keywords: Meta-analysis; funnel asymmetry; meta average;

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Paldam, 2013. "How do partly omitted control variables influence the averages used in meta-analysis in economics?," Economics Working Papers 2013-22, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.

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