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Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review

  • T. D. Stanley

This paper presents and develops a quantitative method of literature reviewing and evaluating empirical research, meta-regression analysis or MRA. Economics is theory-driven. Yet, we must learn empirically if economics is to advance. MRA offers a more objective statistical method to summarize our empirical knowledge and to explain the wide study-to-study variation in economic research. MRA is used to assess the evidence for Ricardian equivalence, and its findings are contrasted to those of conventional narrative review. Furthermore, MRA establishes a platform from which to distinguish genuine empirical effect from the exploitable specification error that infests applied econometrics.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.3.131
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 131-150

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:3:p:131-150
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.131
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  1. Peter D. Linneman & Michael L. Wachter & William H. Carter, 1990. "Evaluating the evidence on union employment and wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 34-53, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert Goldfarb, 1995. "The economist-as-audience needs a methodology of plausible inference," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 201-222.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1989. "The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 37-54, Spring.
  5. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Ricardian Equivalence: An Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dalamagas, Basil A, 1992. "How Rival Are the Ricardian Equivalence Proposition and the Fiscal Policy Potency View?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(4), pages 457-76, November.
  8. Stephen B. Jarrell & T. D. Stanley, 1990. "A meta-analysis of the union-nonunion wage gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(1), pages 54-67, October.
  9. Stanley, T. D., 1991. "Let's get serious about Caprice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 37-56.
  10. Leonardo Leiderman & Mario I. Blejer, 1988. "Modeling and Testing Ricardian Equivalence: A Survey," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(1), pages 1-35, March.
  11. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, June.
  12. Phillips, Joseph M, 1994. "Farmer Education and Farmer Efficiency: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 149-65, October.
  13. Doucouliagos, Chris, 1997. "The Aggregate Demand for Labour in Australia: A Meta-analysis," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(69), pages 224-42, December.
  14. Stanley, T. D., 2000. "An empirical critique of the Lucas critique," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 91-107.
  15. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
  16. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-90, March.
  17. Sef Baaijens & Peter Nijkamp & Kees Van Montfort, 1998. "Explanatory Meta-analysis for the Comparison and Transfer of Regional Tourist Income Multipliers," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(9), pages 839-849.
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  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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