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The Economics of Replication

Author

Listed:
  • Frank Mueller-Langer
  • Benedikt Fecher
  • Dietmar Harhoff
  • Gert G. Wagner

Abstract

Replication studies are considered a hallmark of good scientific practice. Yet they are treated among researchers as an ideal to be professed but not practiced. To provide incentives and favorable boundary conditions for replication practice, the main stakeholders need to be aware of what drives replication. Here we investigate how often replication studies are published in empirical economics and what types of journal articles are replicated. We find that from 1974 to 2014 less than 0.1% of publications in the top-50 economics journals were replications. We do not find empirical support that mandatory data disclosure policies or the availability of data or code have a significant effect on the incidence of replication. The mere provision of data repositories may be ineffective, unless accompanied by appropriate incentives. However, we find that higher-impact articles and articles by authors from leading institutions are more likely to be subject of published replication studies whereas the replication probability is lower for articles published in higher-ranked journals.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Mueller-Langer & Benedikt Fecher & Dietmar Harhoff & Gert G. Wagner, 2017. "The Economics of Replication," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1640, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1640
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Benedikt Fecher & Mathis Fräßdorf & Gert G. Wagner, 2016. "Perceptions and Practices of Replication by Social and Behavioral Scientists: Making Replications a Mandatory Element of Curricula Would Be Useful," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1572, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
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    4. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Viewpoint: Replication in economics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 715-733, August.
    5. Frank Mueller-Langer & Benedikt Fecher & Dietmar Harhoff & Gert G. Wagner, 2017. "The Economics of Replication," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1640, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2013. "Nine Facts about Top Journals in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-161, March.
    7. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Jensen, Kyle & Murray, Fiona, 2012. "Governing knowledge in the scientific community: Exploring the role of retractions in biomedicine," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 276-290.
    8. Maren Duvendack & Richard W. Palmer-Jones & W. Robert Reed, 2015. "Replications in Economics: A Progress Report," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 12(2), pages 164–191-1, May.
    9. Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick & Mueller-Langer, Frank, 2014. "Open access to data: An ideal professed but not practised," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1621-1633.
    10. Nicola Lacetera & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2011. "The Economics of Scientific Misconduct," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 568-603.
    11. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2007. "Replication in Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 2760, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    1. Frank Mueller-Langer & Benedikt Fecher & Dietmar Harhoff & Gert G. Wagner, 2017. "The Economics of Replication," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1640, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Fecher, Benedikt & Fräßdorf, Mathis & Hebing, Marcel & Wagner, Gert G., 2017. "Replikationen, Reputation und gute wissenschaftliche Praxis," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 154-158.
    3. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in experimental economics: A historical and quantitative approach focused on public good game experiments," Working Papers halshs-01651080, HAL.
    4. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in experimental economics: A historical and quantitative approach focused on public good game experiments," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01651080, HAL.
    5. Eszter Czibor & David Jimenez‐Gomez & John A. List, 2019. "The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of)," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 371-432, October.
    6. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in Experimental Economics: A Historical and Quantitative Approach Focused on Public Good Game Experiments," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-21, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Replication; economics of science; science policy; economic methodology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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