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Identification of and Correction for Publication Bias

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  • Isaiah Andrews
  • Maximilian Kasy

Abstract

Some empirical results are more likely to be published than others. Such selective publication leads to biased estimates 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Isaiah Andrews & Maximilian Kasy, 2017. "Identification of and Correction for Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 23298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23298
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:1:p:326-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Michael A. Clemens, 2017. "The Meaning Of Failed Replications: A Review And Proposal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 326-342, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Michael Clemens, 2015. "The Meaning of Failed Replications: A Review and Proposal - Working Paper 399," Working Papers 399, Center for Global Development.
    8. James H. Stock & Jonathan Wright, 2000. "GMM with Weak Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1055-1096, September.
    9. 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.
    10. 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, June.
    11. Tomáš Havránek, 2015. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Importance Of Method Choices And Selective Reporting," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(6), pages 1180-1204, December.
    12. 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, June.
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    14. T. D. Stanley, 2008. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 103-127, February.
    15. Garret S. Christensen & Edward Miguel, 2016. "Transparency, Reproducibility, and the Credibility of Economics Research," NBER Working Papers 22989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kewei Hou & Chen Xue & Lu Zhang, 2017. "Replicating Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 23394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Honore, Bo E. & Powell, James L., 1994. "Pairwise difference estimators of censored and truncated regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 241-278.
    18. 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.
    19. Hou, Kewei & Xue, Chen & Zhang, Lu, 2017. "Replicating Anomalies," Working Paper Series 2017-10, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Roth, 2018. "Should We Adjust for the Test for Pre-trends in Difference-in-Difference Designs?," Papers 1804.01208, arXiv.org, revised May 2018.
    2. Andrew Y. Chen & Thomas Zimmermann, 2018. "Publication Bias and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-033, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Alberto Abadie, 2018. "Statistical Non-Significance in Empirical Economics," NBER Working Papers 24403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hampl, Mojmir & Havranek, Tomas, 2018. "Central Bank Capital as an Instrument of Monetary Policy," EconStor Preprints 176828, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General

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    1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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