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Are All Economic Hypotheses False?

  • De Long, J Bradford
  • Lang, Kevin

The authors develop an estimator that allows them to calculate an upper bound to the fraction of unrejected null hypotheses tested in economics journal articles that are in fact true. Their point estimate is that none of the unrejected nulls in their sample is true. The authors reject the hypothesis that more than one-third are true. They consider three explanations for this finding: that all null hypotheses are mere approximations, that data-mining biases reported standard errors downward, and that journals tend to publish papers that fail to reject their null hypotheses only when the they are likely to be false. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 100 (1992)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1257-72

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:100:y:1992:i:6:p:1257-72
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  1. Hendry, David F, 1980. "Econometrics-Alchemy or Science?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(188), pages 387-406, November.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1989. "Unit roots in real GNP: do we know, and do we care?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 18, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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