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Better than Random: Weighted Least Squares Meta-Regression Analysis

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  • T.D. Stanley

    ()

  • Hristos Doucouliagos

    ()

Abstract

This paper revisits and challenges two widely accepted practices in multiple meta-regression analysis: the prevalent use of random-effects meta-regression analysis (RE-MRA) and the correction of standard errors from fixed-effects meta-regression analysis (FE-MRA). Specifically, we investigate the bias of RE-MRA when there is publication selection bias and compare RE-MRA with an alternative weighted least square meta-regression analysis (WLS-MRA). Simulations and statistical theory show that multiple WLS-MRA provides improved estimates of meta-regression coefficients and their confidence intervals when there is no publication bias. When there is publication selection bias, WLS-MRA dominates RE-MRA, especially when there is additive excess heterogeneity. WLS-MRA is also compared to FE-MRA, where conventional wisdom is to correct the standard errors by dividing by √MSE. We demonstrate why it is better not to make this correction.

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File URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/workingpapers/papers/2013_2.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2013_2.

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Date of creation: 17 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2013_2

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Related research

Keywords: meta-regression; weighted least squares; random-effects; fixed-effects;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Tomáš Havránek, 2010. "Rose effect and the euro: is the magic gone?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 146(2), pages 241-261, June.
  2. Hristos Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley, 2008. "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Economics Series 2008_14, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  3. T.D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2009. "Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox," Economics Series 2009_13, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  4. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2011. "Meta-Regression Approximations to Reduce Publication Selection Bias," Economics Series 2011_4, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  5. Maria Abreu & Henri L.F. de Groot & Raymond J.G.M. Florax, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of Beta-Convergence: The Legendary Two-Percent," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-001/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. 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.
  7. John Copas & Claudia Lozada-Can, 2009. "The radial plot in meta-analysis: approximations and applications," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 58(3), pages 329-344.
  8. Doucouliagos, Chris & Stanley, T.D. & Giles, Margaret, 2012. "Are estimates of the value of a statistical life exaggerated?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 197-206.
  9. T.D. Stanley, 2006. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Economics Series 2006_20, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  10. Hristos Doucouliagos & Janto Haman & T.D. Stanley, 2012. "Pay for Performance and Corporate Governance Reform," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 670-703, 07.
  11. Ian R. White, 2011. "Multivariate random-effects meta-regression: Updates to mvmeta," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 255-270, June.
  12. Stanley, T D & Jarrell, Stephen B, 1989. " Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Survey s," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 161-70.
  13. Maria Abreu & Henri L.F. de Groot & Raymond J.G.M. Florax, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of Beta-Convergence: The Legendary Two-Percent," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-001/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. Christoph Engel, 2010. "Dictator Games: A Meta Study," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jan 2011.
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