IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Star Wars: The Empirics Strike Back

Listed author(s):
  • Abel Brodeur
  • Mathias Lé
  • Marc Sangnier
  • Yanos Zylberberg

Using 50,000 tests published in the AER, JPE, and QJE, we identify a residual in the distribution of tests that cannot be explained solely by journals favoring rejection of the null hypothesis. We observe a two-humped camel shape with missing p-values between 0.25 and 0.10 that can be retrieved just after the 0.05 threshold and represent 10-20 percent of marginally rejected tests. Our interpretation is that researchers inflate the value of just-rejected tests by choosing "significant" specifications. We propose a method to measure this residual and describe how it varies by article and author characteristics. (JEL A11, C13)

If 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.

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.20150044
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/app/0801/2015-0044_app.pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/0801/2015-0044_data.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/0801/2015-0044_data.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/ds/0801/2015-0044_ds.zip
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/app/0801/2015-0044_app.pdf
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2016)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-32

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:1-32
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20150044
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window


  1. Gerber, Alan & Malhotra, Neil, 2008. "Do Statistical Reporting Standards Affect What Is Published? Publication Bias in Two Leading Political Science Journals," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(3), pages 313-326, October.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley & Greenstone, Michael, 2004. "Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 1037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Disclosure of research results: the cost of proving your honesty," Post-Print hal-01023670, HAL.
  4. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
  5. Lovell, Michael C, 1983. "Data Mining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12, February.
  6. Abel Brodeur & Mathias Lé & Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2016. "Star Wars: The Empirics Strike Back," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, January.
  7. 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.
  8. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2004. "Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias," Working Papers 858, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Eric Luis Uhlmann & Anthony Bastardi & Lee Ross, 2011. "Wishful Thinking: Belief, Desire, and the Motivated Evaluation of Scientific Evidence," Post-Print hal-00609541, HAL.
  10. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
  11. Weiß Bernd & Wagner Michael, 2011. "The Identification and Prevention of Publication Bias in the Social Sciences and Economics," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(5-6), pages 661-684, October.
  12. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
  13. Leamer, Edward E, 1985. "Sensitivity Analyses Would Help," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 308-313, June.
  14. repec:pri:cepsud:97ashenfelter is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti & Marco Lippi & Luca Sala, 2014. "Noise Bubbles," Working Papers 532, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  16. De Long, J Bradford & Lang, Kevin, 1992. "Are All Economic Hypotheses False?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1257-1272, December.
  17. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
  18. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Strategic Disclosure of Research Results: The Cost of Proving Your Honesty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1036-1064, 07.
  19. 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.
  20. Denton, Frank T, 1985. "Data Mining as an Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 124-127, February.
  21. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
  22. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2013. "Nine Facts about Top Journals in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-161, March.
  23. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2004. "We Ran One Regression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 799-810, December.
  24. Leamer, Edward E & Leonard, Herman B, 1983. "Reporting the Fragility of Regression Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(2), pages 306-317, May.
  25. Tomáš Havránek, 2015. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Importance Of Method Choices And Selective Reporting," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(6), pages 1180-1204, December.
  26. repec:fth:prinin:425 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2014. "Page Limits on Economics Articles: Evidence from Two Journals," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 149-168, Summer.
  28. Auspurg Katrin & Hinz Thomas, 2011. "What Fuels Publication Bias?: Theoretical and Empirical Analyses of Risk Factors Using the Caliper Test," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(5-6), pages 636-660, October.
  29. B.D. McCullough & Kerry Anne McGeary & Teresa D. Harrison, 2008. "Do economics journal archives promote replicable research?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1406-1420, November.
  30. Chris Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley, 2013. "Are All Economic Facts Greatly Exaggerated? Theory Competition And Selectivity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 316-339, 04.
  31. 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..
  32. Benjamin A. Olken, 2015. "Promises and Perils of Pre-analysis Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
  33. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2004. "We Ran One Regression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 799-810, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:1-32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

or (Michael P. Albert)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.