IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

Theory Competition and Selectivity: Are All Economic Facts Greatly Exaggerated?

There is growing concern and mounting evidence of selectivity in empirical economics. Most empirical economic literatures have a skewed (or truncated) distribution of results. The aim of this paper is to explore the links between publication selectivity and theory competition. In research areas where theory supports a wide range of outcomes, empirical evidence is less likely to be affected by selectivity. However, in those areas where theory is consistent with only one qualitative effect (e.g, a negative effect of price on quantity demanded), selectivity is more likely and its bias, more severe. This hypothesis is supported through the analysis of 65 distinct empirical economics literatures, involving approximately two thousand separate empirical studies, which in turn collectively contain many more thousands of estimates. Our meta-meta-analysis shows that publication selection is widespread, but not universal. It distorts scientific inference with potentially adverse effects on policy making, but competition and debate between rival theories reduces this selectivity and thereby improves economic inference. All literature reviews, whether traditional or quantitative (meta-analysis), need to adopt explicit selection correction methods.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/workingpapers/papers/2008_06eco.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2008_06.

as
in new window

Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 15 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2008_06
Contact details of provider: Postal:
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125

Phone: 61 3 9244 3815
Fax: +61 3 5227 2655
Web page: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/index.php
Email:


More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2008_06. 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: (Dr Xueli Tang)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.