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Identification of and Correction for Publication Bias

Listed author(s):
  • Isaiah Andrews
  • Maximilian Kasy

Some empirical results are more likely to be published than others. Such selective publication leads to biased estimators and distorted inference. This paper proposes two approaches for identifying the conditional probability of publication as a function of a study's results, the first based on systematic replication studies and the second based on meta-studies. For known conditional publication probabilities, we propose median-unbiased estimators and associated confidence sets that correct for selective publication. We apply our methods to recent large-scale replication studies in experimental economics and psychology, and to meta-studies of the effects of minimum wages and de-worming programs.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23298.

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Date of creation: Mar 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23298
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  1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
  2. Croke, Kevin & Hicks, Joan Hamory & Hsu, Eric & Kremer, Michael & Miguel, Edward, 2016. "Does Mass Deworming Affect Child Nutrition? Meta-analysis, Cost-Effectiveness, and Statistical Power," CEPR Discussion Papers 11458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Abel Brodeur & Mathias Lé & Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2016. "Star Wars: The Empirics Strike Back," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, January.
  4. Clemens, Michael A., 2015. "The Meaning of Failed Replications: A Review and Proposal," IZA Discussion Papers 9000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. De Long, J Bradford & Lang, Kevin, 1992. "Are All Economic Hypotheses False?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1257-1272, December.
  6. Michael Clemens, 2015. "The Meaning of Failed Replications: A Review and Proposal - Working Paper 399," Working Papers 399, Center for Global Development.
  7. Camerer, Colin & Dreber, Anna & Forsell, Eskil & Ho, Teck-Hua & Huber, Jurgen & Johannesson, Magnus & Kirchler, Michael & Almenberg, Johan & Altmejd, Adam & Chan, Taizan & Heikensten, Emma & Holzmeist, 2016. "Evaluating replicability of laboratory experiments in Economics," MPRA Paper 75461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Daniel Yekutieli, 2012. "Adjusted Bayesian inference for selected parameters," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 74(3), pages 515-541, 06.
  9. 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.
  10. Garret S. Christensen & Edward Miguel, 2016. "Transparency, Reproducibility, and the Credibility of Economics Research," NBER Working Papers 22989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Exactly Median-Unbiased Estimation of First Order Autoregressive/Unit Root Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 139-165, January.
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