The cult of statistical significance. What economists should and should not do to make their data talk
AbstractThis article takes issue with a recent book by Ziliak and McCloskey (2008) of the same title. Ziliak and McCloskey argue that statistical significance testing is a barrier rather than a booster for empirical research in economics and should therefore be abandoned altogether. The present article argues that this is good advice in some research areas but not in others. Taking all issues which have appeared so far of the German Economic Review and a recent epidemiological meta-analysis as examples, it shows that there has indeed been a lot of misleading work in the context of significance testing, and that at the same time many promising avenues for fruitfully employing statistical significance tests, disregarded by Ziliak and McCloskey, have not been used.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD) in its series Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data with number 176.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Walter Krämer, 2011. "The Cult of Statistical Significance – What Economists Should and Should Not Do to Make their Data Talk," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 131(3), pages 455-468.
- B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
- C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
- C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-02-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-ECM-2012-02-27 (Econometrics)
- NEP-HME-2012-02-27 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-HPE-2012-02-27 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOG-2012-02-27 (Sociology of Economics)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- About the cult of statistical significance
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-03-07 14:40:00
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