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Better than Random: Weighted Least Squares Meta-Regression Analysis

  • T.D. Stanley

    ()

  • Hristos Doucouliagos

    ()

Our study revisits and challenges two core conventional meta-regression models: the prevalent use of ‘mixed-effects’ or random-effects meta-regression analysis (RE-MRA) and the correction of standard errors that defines fixed-effects meta-regression analysis (FE-MRA). We show how and explain why the traditional, unrestricted weighted least squares estimator (WLS-MRA) is superior to conventional random-effects (or mixed-effects) meta-regression when there is publication (or small-sample) bias and as good as FE-MRA in all cases and better in most practical applications. Simulations and statistical theory show that WLS-MRA provides satisfactory estimates of meta-regression coefficients with confidence intervals that are comparable to mixed-or random-effects when there is no publication bias. When there is publication selection bias, WLS-MRA dominates mixed- and random-effects, especially when there is large additive heterogeneity as assumed by the random-effects meta-regression model.

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File URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/workingpapers/papers/2013_2.pdf
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Paper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2013_2.

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Date of creation: 17 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2013_2
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Web page: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/index.php

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  1. Hristos Doucouliagos & Janto Haman & T.D. Stanley, 2012. "Pay for Performance and Corporate Governance Reform," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 670-703, 07.
  2. Stanley, T. D. & Jarrell, Stephen B. & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2010. "Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 64(1), pages 70-77.
  3. Ian R. White, 2011. "Multivariate random-effects meta-regression: Updates to mvmeta," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 255-270, June.
  4. Hristos Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley, 2008. "Theory Competition and Selectivity: Are All Economic Facts Greatly Exaggerated?," Economics Series 2008_06, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  5. Tomáš Havránek, 2010. "Rose effect and the euro: is the magic gone?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 146(2), pages 241-261, June.
  6. John Copas & Claudia Lozada-Can, 2009. "The radial plot in meta-analysis: approximations and applications," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 58(3), pages 329-344.
  7. T.D. Stanley, 2006. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Economics Series 2006_20, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  8. Doucouliagos, Chris & Stanley, T.D. & Giles, Margaret, 2012. "Are estimates of the value of a statistical life exaggerated?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 197-206.
  9. Christoph Engel, 2010. "Dictator Games: A Meta Study," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jan 2011.
  10. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005001 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. T. D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 2005. "Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Surveys," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 299-308, 07.
  12. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2011. "Meta-Regression Approximations to Reduce Publication Selection Bias," Economics Series 2011_4, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  13. Hristos Doucouliagos & T. D. Stanley, 2009. "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 406-428, 06.
  14. repec:dgr:uvatin:20050001 is not listed on IDEAS
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