Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox
Conventional practice is to draw inferences from all available data and research results, even though there is ample evidence to suggest that empirical literatures suffer from publication selection bias. When a scientific literature is plagued by such bias, a simple discarding of the vast majority of empirical results can actually improve statistical inference and estimation. Simulations demonstrate that, if the majority of researchers, reviewers, and editors use statistical significance as a criterion for reporting or publishing an estimate, discarding 90% of the published findings greatly reduces publication selection bias and is often more efficient than conventional summary statistics. Improving statistical estimation and inference through removing so much data goes against statistical theory and practice; hence, it is paradoxical. We investigate a very simple method to reduce the effects of publication bias and to improve the efficiency of summary estimates of accumulated empirical research results that averages the most precise ten percent of the reported estimates (i.e., ‘Top10’). In the process, the critical importance of precision (the inverse of an estimate’s standard error) as a measure of a study’s quality is brought to light. Reviewers and journal editors should use precision as one objective measure of a study’s quality.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 64 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.amstat.org/publications/tas/index.cfm?fuseaction=main|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.amstat.org/publications/index.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.:
- T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
- 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.
- Andrew Rose, 2004.
"A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Common Currencies on International Trade,"
NBER Working Papers
10373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew K. Rose & T. D. Stanley, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Common Currencies on International Trade ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 347-365, 07.
- Rose, Andrew K, 2003. "A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Common Currencies on International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 4341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Joan Costa-i-Font & Marin Gemmill & Gloria Rubert, 2009.
"Re-visiting the health care luxury good hypothesis: aggregation, precision, and publication biases?,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
25303, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Joan Costa-Font & Marin Gemmill & Gloria Rubert, 2008. "Re-visiting the Health Care Luxury Good Hypothesis: Aggregation, Precision, and Publication Biases?," Working Papers in Economics 197, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
- Costa-Font, J & Gemmill M & Rubert G, 2009. "Re-visiting the Health Care Luxury Good Hypothesis: Aggregation, Precision, and Publication Biases?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Eric Krassoi Peach & T. Stanley, 2009. "Efficiency Wages, Productivity and Simultaneity: A Meta-Regression Analysis," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 262-268, September.
- Hristos Doucouliagos & T. D. Stanley, 2009.
"Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis,"
British Journal of Industrial Relations,
London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 406-428, 06.
- 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.
- T.D Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2007. "Identifying and Correcting Publication Selection Bias in the Efficiency-Wage Literature: Heckman Meta-Regression," Economics Series 2007_11, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- T.D. Stanley, 2006.
"Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection,"
2006_20, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- T. D. Stanley, 2008. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 103-127, 02.
- De Long, J Bradford & Lang, Kevin, 1992.
"Are All Economic Hypotheses False?,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1257-72, December.
- J. Copas, 1999. "What works?: selectivity models and meta-analysis," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 162(1), pages 95-109.
- Lovell, Michael C, 1983. "Data Mining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12, February.
- Laroche, P., 2000. "What do Unions do to Productivity? A Meta-Analysis," Papers 2000-5, Groupe de recherche en économie financière et en gestion des entreprises, Universite Nancy 2.
- Feige, Edgar L, 1975. "The Consequences of Journal Editorial Policies and a Suggestion for Revision," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1291-95, December.
- Chris Doucouliagos & Patrice Laroche, 2007. "Unions and Profitability: A Meta-Analysis," Economics Series 2007_01, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bes:amstat:v:64:i:1:y:2010:p:70-77. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)
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.