IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The cult of statistical significance. What economists should and should not do to make their data talk

  • Walter Krämer

This article takes issue with a recent book by Ziliak and McCloskey (2008) of the same title. Ziliak and McCloskey argue that statistical significance testing is a barrier rather than a booster for empirical research in economics and should therefore be abandoned altogether. The present article argues that this is good advice in some research areas but not in others. Taking all issues which have appeared so far of the German Economic Review and a recent epidemiological meta-analysis as examples, it shows that there has indeed been a lot of misleading work in the context of significance testing, and that at the same time many promising avenues for fruitfully employing statistical significance tests, disregarded by Ziliak and McCloskey, have not been used.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ratswd.de/download/RatSWD_WP_2011/RatSWD_WP_176.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD) in its series Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data with number 176.

as
in new window

Length: 16
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rsw:rswwps:rswwps176
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ratswd.de/eng/index.html
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Walter Krämer & Gerhard Arminger, 2011. "“True Believers” or Numerical Terrorism at the Nuclear Power Plant," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 231(5-6), pages 608-620, November.
  2. McCloskey, Donald N, 1985. "The Loss Function Has Been Mislaid: The Rhetoric of Significance Tests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 201-05, May.
  3. Bachmann, Ronald & Burda, Michael C, 2007. "Sectoral Transformation, Turbulence, and Labour Market Dynamics in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 6226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lovell, Michael C, 1983. "Data Mining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12, February.
  5. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. & Stephan Klasen & Mario Larch, 2009. "Does German Development Aid Promote German Exports?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 317-338, 08.
  6. Bettina Becker & Silke Uebelmesser, 2010. "Health Insurance Competition in Germany - the Role of Advertising," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 130(2), pages 169-194.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rsw:rswwps:rswwps176. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RatSWD)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.