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Star Wars: The Empirics Strike Back

Listed author(s):
  • Abel Brodeur

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Mathias Lé

    (Paris School of Economics and ACPR)

  • Marc Sangnier

    (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)

  • Yanos Zylberberg

    ()

    (School of Economics Finance and Management, University of Bristol)

Journals favor rejection of the null hypothesis. This selection upon tests may distort the behavior of researchers. Using 50,000 tests published between 2005 and 2011 in the AER, JPE, and QJE, we identify a residual in the distribution of tests that cannot be explained by selection. The distribution of p-values exhibits a two humped camel shape with abundant p-values above 0.25, a valley between 0.25 and 0.10, and a bump slightly below 0.05. The missing tests (with p-values between 0.25 and 0.10) can be retrieved just after the 0.05 threshold and represent 10% to 20% of marginally rejected tests. Our interpretation is that researchers might be tempted to inflate the value of those just-rejected tests by choosing a significant specification. We propose a method to measure this residual and describe how it varies by article and author characteristics.

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File URL: http://sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/economics/sites/socialsciences.uottawa.ca.economics/files/1505e.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1505E.

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Length: 70 pages
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1505e
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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. Martin Dufwenberg & Peter Martinsson, 2014. "Keeping Researchers Honest: The Case for Sealed-Envelope-Submissions," Working Papers 533, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2004. "Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 454-460, May.
  4. Denton, Frank T, 1985. "Data Mining as an Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 124-127, February.
  5. Leamer, Edward E, 1983. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
  6. B.D. McCullough & Kerry Anne McGeary & Teresa D. Harrison, 2008. "Do economics journal archives promote replicable research?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1406-1420, November.
  7. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," Working Papers 804, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Benjamin A. Olken, 2015. "Promises and Perils of Pre-analysis Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
  9. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2004. "We Ran One Regression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 799-810, December.
  10. 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.
  11. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2004. "We Ran One Regression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 799-810, December.
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  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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