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Econometrics and Decision Making: Effects of Presentation Mode

  • Robin Hogarth
  • Emre Soyer
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    Much of empirical economics involves regression analysis. However, does the presentation of results affect economists ability to make inferences for decision making purposes? In a survey, 257 academic economists were asked to make probabilistic inferences on the basis of the outputs of a regression analysis presented in a standard format. Questions concerned the distribution of the dependent variable conditional on known values of the independent variable. However, many respondents underestimated uncertainty by failing to take into account the standard deviation of the estimated residuals. The addition of graphs did not substantially improve inferences. On the other hand, when only graphs were provided (i.e., with no statistics), respondents were substantially more accurate. We discuss implications for improving practice in reporting results of regression analyses.

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    File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/426.pdf
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    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 426.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:426
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    1. Badi H. Baltagi, 2007. "Worldwide Econometrics Rankings: 1989-2005," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 94, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    2. Deirdre N. McCloskey & Stephen T. Ziliak, 1996. "The Standard Error of Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 97-114, March.
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