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Is the Time-Series Evidence on Minimum Wage Effects Contaminated by Publication Bias?

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  • David Neumark
  • William Wascher

Abstract

Publication bias in economics may lead to selective specification searches that result in overreporting in the published literature of results consistent with economists' priors. In reassessing the published time-series studies on the employment effects of minimum wages, some recent research has reported evidence consistent with publication bias, and concluded that the most plausible explanation of this evidence is editors' and authors' tendencies to look for negative and statistically significant estimates of the employment effect of the minimum wage, (Card and Krueger, 1995a, p. 242). We present results indicating that the evidence is more consistent with a change in the estimated minimum wage effect over time than with publication bias. More generally, we demonstrate that existing approaches to testing for publication bias may generate spurious evidence of such bias when there are structural changes in some parameters. We then suggest an alternative strategy for testing for publication bias that is more immune to structural change. Although changing parameters may be uncommon in clinical trials on which most of the existing literature on publication bias is based, they are much more plausible in economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5631.

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Date of creation: Jun 1996
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Publication status: published as Economic Inquiry, Vol. 36, no. 3 (July 1998): 458-470
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5631

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References

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  1. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1981. "Time-Series Evidence of the Effect of the Minimum Wage on Youth Employment and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eugene Canjels & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "Estimating Deterministic Trends In The Presence Of Serially Correlated Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 184-200, May.
  3. Welch, Finis, 1974. "Minimum Wage Legislation in the United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 285-318, September.
  4. Gary Solon, 1985. "The Minimum Wage and Teenage Employment: A Reanalysis with Attention to Serial Correlation and Seasonality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 292-297.
  5. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-43, May.
  6. 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.
  7. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1994. "Minimum Wage Effects and Low-Wage Labor Markets: A Disequilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 4617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1981. "Minimum Wages and the Demand for Labor," NBER Working Papers 0656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Siskind, Frederic B, 1977. "Minimum Wage Legislation in the United States: Comment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 135-38, January.
  10. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernhard Boockmann, 2010. "The Combined Employment Effects of Minimum Wages and Labor Market Regulation—a Meta-Analysis," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 61(Supplemen), pages 167-188.
  2. Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Henri L.F. de Groot & Ruud A. de Mooij, 2002. "Meta-analysis: A Tool for Upgrading Inputs of Macroeconomic Policy Models," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-041/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. 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.
  4. repec:dgr:uvatin:2002041 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2006. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Review of Evidence from the New Minimum Wage Research," NBER Working Papers 12663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Jellal, Mohamed, 2012. "Maroc salaire minimum emploi et pauvreté
    [Morocco minimum wage employment and poverty]
    ," MPRA Paper 38491, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. T.D. Stanley & Chris Doucouliagous, 2006. "Publication Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? Card and Krueger Redux," Economics Series 2006_16, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

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