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Is there a cult of statistical significance in Agricultural Economics?

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  • Rommel, Jens
  • Weltin, Meike

Abstract

In an analysis of articles published in ten years of the American Economic Review, Deirdre McCloskey and Stephen Ziliak have shown that economists often fail to adequately distinguish economic and statistical significance. In this paper, we briefly review their arguments and develop a ten-item questionnaire on the statistical practice in the Agricultural Economics community. We apply our questionnaire to the 2015 volumes of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the European Review of Agricultural Economics, the Journal of Agricultural Economics, and the American Economic Review. We specifically focus on the “sizeless stare” and the negligence of economic significance. Our initial results indicate that there is room of improvement in statistical practice. Empirical papers rarely consider the power of statistical tests or run simulations. The economic consequences of estimation results are often not adequately addressed. We discuss the implications of our findings for the publication process and teaching in Agricultural Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Rommel, Jens & Weltin, Meike, 2017. "Is there a cult of statistical significance in Agricultural Economics?," 57th Annual Conference, Weihenstephan, Germany, September 13-15, 2017 261998, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:gewi17:261998
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.261998
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Janzen, Sarah & Michler, Jeffrey D, 2020. "Ulysses' Pact or Ulysses' Raft: Using Pre-Analysis Plans in Experimental and Non-Experimental Research," MetaArXiv wkmht, Center for Open Science.

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