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Ulysses' Pact or Ulysses' Raft: Using Pre-Analysis Plans in Experimental and Non-Experimental Research

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  • Janzen, Sarah
  • Michler, Jeffrey D

    (University of Arizona)

Abstract

In recent years, pre-analysis plans have been adopted by economists in response to concerns raised about robustness and transparency in social science research. By pre-specifying an analysis plan, researchers bind themselves and thus avoid the temptation to data mine or $p$-hack. The application of pre-analysis plans has been most widely used for randomized evaluations, particularly in the field of development economics. The increased use of pre-analysis plans has raised competing concerns that detailed plans are overly restrictive and limit the type of inspiration that only comes from exploring the data. This paper considers these competing views of pre-analysis plans, examines the extent that pre-analysis plans have been used in research conducted by agricultural economists, and discusses the usefulness of pre-analysis plans for non-experimental economic research.

Suggested Citation

  • Janzen, Sarah & Michler, Jeffrey D, 2020. "Ulysses' Pact or Ulysses' Raft: Using Pre-Analysis Plans in Experimental and Non-Experimental Research," MetaArXiv wkmht, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:metaar:wkmht
    DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/wkmht
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    Cited by:

    1. Brüderle, Mirjam Anna & Peters, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2022. "Weather and crime: Cautious evidence from South Africa," Ruhr Economic Papers 940, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Andrew C. Chang & Linda R. Cohen & Amihai Glazer & Urbashee Paul, 2021. "Politicians Avoid Tax Increases Around Elections," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-004, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Jeffrey D. Michler & Anna Josephson, 2022. "Recent developments in inference: practicalities for applied economics," Chapters, in: A Modern Guide to Food Economics, chapter 11, pages 235-268, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General

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