IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/11343.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Persuasion Bias in Science: Can Economics Help?

Author

Listed:
  • Di Tillio, Alfredo
  • Ottaviani, Marco
  • Sørensen, Peter Norman

Abstract

The widespread adoption of randomized controlled experiments owes much to their ability to curtail researchers' conflicts of interest. This paper casts data collection and analysis in a game-theoretic framework. A researcher aims at persuading an evaluator that the causal effect of a treatment outweighs its cost, so as to justify acceptance. The researcher uses private information to (1) sample subjects based on their treatment effect (challenging external validity), (2) assign subjects to treatment based on their baseline outcome (challenging internal validity), or (3) selectively report experimental outcomes (challenging both external and internal validity). The resulting biases have different welfare implications: for sufficiently high acceptance cost, the evaluator loses in cases (1) and (3), but benefits from the researcher's information in case (2).

Suggested Citation

  • Di Tillio, Alfredo & Ottaviani, Marco & Sørensen, Peter Norman, 2016. "Persuasion Bias in Science: Can Economics Help?," CEPR Discussion Papers 11343, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11343
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11343
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles F. Manski, 2013. "Response to the Review of ‘Public Policy in an Uncertain World’," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 412-415, August.
    2. Dahm, Matthias & González, Paula & Porteiro, Nicolás, 2009. "Trials, tricks and transparency: How disclosure rules affect clinical knowledge," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1141-1153, December.
    3. Emir Kamenica & Matthew Gentzkow, 2011. "Bayesian Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2590-2615, October.
    4. Anton Kolotilin & Tymofiy Mylovanov & Andriy Zapechelnyuk & Ming Li, 2017. "Persuasion of a Privately Informed Receiver," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85(6), pages 1949-1964, November.
    5. Martin Dufwenberg & Peter Martinsson, 2014. "Keeping Researchers Honest: The Case for Sealed-Envelope-Submissions," Working Papers 533, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Hunt Allcott, 2015. "Site Selection Bias in Program Evaluation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1117-1165.
    7. Denton, Frank T, 1985. "Data Mining as an Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 124-127, February.
    8. Benjamin A. Olken, 2015. "Promises and Perils of Pre-analysis Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
    9. Luis Rayo & Ilya Segal, 2010. "Optimal Information Disclosure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 949-987.
    10. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769, October.
    11. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2007. "Influence through ignorance," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 931-947, December.
    12. Aleksey Tetenov, 2016. "An economic theory of statistical testing," CeMMAP working papers CWP50/16, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    13. Nicola Lacetera & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2011. "The Economics of Scientific Misconduct," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 568-603.
    14. Manski, Charles F., 2013. "Public Policy in an Uncertain World: Analysis and Decisions," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674066892, December.
    15. Emeric Henry, 2009. "Strategic Disclosure of Research Results: The Cost of Proving Your Honesty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1036-1064, July.
    16. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    17. Mike Felgenhauer & Elisabeth Schulte, 2014. "Strategic Private Experimentation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 74-105, November.
    18. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "On Optimal Rules of Persuasion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1715-1736, November.
    19. Imbens,Guido W. & Rubin,Donald B., 2015. "Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521885881, December.
    20. Zacharias Maniadis & Fabio Tufano & John A. List, 2014. "One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer: New Evidence on Anchoring Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 277-290, January.
    21. Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 1990. "The Optimal Amount of Discretion to Allow in Disclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 427-444.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran & Weiss, Yair, 2019. "Cheating with (recursive) models," CEPR Discussion Papers 14100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Michel Abramowicz & Ariane Szafarz, 2019. "Ethics of Randomized Controlled Trials: Should Economists Care about Equipoise?," Working Papers CEB 19-017, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Herresthal, C., 2017. "Hidden Testing and Selective Disclosure of Evidence," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1712, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. So, Tony, 2020. "Classroom experiments as a replication device," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    5. Dahm, Matthias & González, Paula & Porteiro, Nicolás, 2018. "The enforcement of mandatory disclosure rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 21-32.
    6. Jeremy Bertomeu & Davide Cianciaruso, 2018. "Verifiable disclosure," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 65(4), pages 1011-1044, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11343. 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: (). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.