A Frequent Misuse of Significance Tests
Economists sometimes interpret the failure of a significance test to disconfirm a hypothesis as evidence that this hypothesis is valid. Six examples of this are cited from recent journals. But this is a misinterpretation of what significance tests show. While in general it is correct that every failure to disconfirm a hypothesis adds to its credibility, the term "disconfirm" is defined differently for this purpose than it is in the context of significance tests.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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- Raymond Robertson, 2000. "Wage Shocks and North American Labor-Market Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 742-764, September.
- James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 1999. "Are Risk Regulators Rational? Evidence from Hazardous Waste Cleanup Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1010-1027, September.
- Susanna Loeb & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "Examining The Link Between Teacher Wages And Student Outcomes: The Importance Of Alternative Labor Market Opportunities And Non-Pecuniary Variation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, August.
- 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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