IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/glodps/537.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Influence of Hidden Researcher Decisions in Applied Microeconomics

Author

Listed:
  • Huntington-Klein, Nick
  • Arenas, Andreu
  • Beam, Emily
  • Bertoni, Marco
  • Bloem, Jeffrey R.
  • Burli, Pralhad
  • Chen, Naibin
  • Greico, Paul
  • Ekpe, Godwin
  • Pugatch, Todd
  • Saavedra, Martin
  • Stopnitzky, Yaniv

Abstract

Researchers make hundreds of decisions about data collection, preparation, and analysis in their research. We use a many-analysts approach to measure the extent and impact of these decisions. Two published causal empirical results are replicated by seven replicators each. We find large differences in data preparation and analysis decisions, many of which would not likely be reported in a publication. No two replicators reported the same sample size. Statistical significance varied across replications, and for one of the studies the effect’s sign varied as well. The standard deviation of estimates across replications was 3-4 times the typical reported standard error.

Suggested Citation

  • Huntington-Klein, Nick & Arenas, Andreu & Beam, Emily & Bertoni, Marco & Bloem, Jeffrey R. & Burli, Pralhad & Chen, Naibin & Greico, Paul & Ekpe, Godwin & Pugatch, Todd & Saavedra, Martin & Stopnitzky, 2020. "The Influence of Hidden Researcher Decisions in Applied Microeconomics," GLO Discussion Paper Series 537, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:537
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/216897/1/GLO-DP-0537.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2014. "Does high public debt consistently stifle economic growth? A critique of Reinhart and Rogoff," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 257-279.
    2. Raquel Bernal & Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Child Care Choices and Children's Cognitive Achievement: The Case of Single Mothers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 459-512.
    3. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Fecher, Benedikt & Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Gert G., 2019. "Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 62-83.
    4. T. Kirk White & Jerome P. Reiter & Amil Petrin, 2018. "Imputation in U.S. Manufacturing Data and Its Implications for Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 502-509, July.
    5. Michael A. Clemens & Jennifer Hunt, 2019. "The Labor Market Effects of Refugee Waves: Reconciling Conflicting Results," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 72(4), pages 818-857, August.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    7. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kapur, Kanika & Gates, Susan, 2011. "Is employer-based health insurance a barrier to entrepreneurship?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 146-162, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Maren Duvendack & Richard Palmer-Jones & W. Robert Reed, 2017. "What Is Meant by "Replication" and Why Does It Encounter Resistance in Economics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 46-51, May.
    10. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2017. "Replication in Labor Economics: Evidence from Data, and What It Suggests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 37-40, May.
    11. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Replication in Economics," NBER Working Papers 13026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. John P. A. Ioannidis & T. D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2017. "The Power of Bias in Economics Research," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 236-265, October.
    13. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
    14. B. D. McCullough & H. D. Vinod, 2003. "Verifying the Solution from a Nonlinear Solver: A Case Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 873-892, June.
    15. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    16. 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.
    17. Janet Currie & Henrik Kleven & Esmée Zwiers, 2020. "Technology and Big Data Are Changing Economics: Mining Text to Track Methods," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 110, pages 42-48, May.
    18. Moretti, Enrico, 2000. "Do Wages Compensate for Risk of Unemployment? Parametric and Semiparametric Evidence from Seasonal Jobs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 45-66, January.
    19. Enrique Moral-Benito, 2015. "Model Averaging In Economics: An Overview," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 46-75, February.
    20. Andrew C. Chang & Phillip Li, 2017. "A Preanalysis Plan to Replicate Sixty Economics Research Papers That Worked Half of the Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 60-64, May.
    21. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Viewpoint: Replication in economics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 715-733, August.
    22. SandraE. Black & PaulJ. Devereux & KjellG. Salvanes, 2008. "Staying in the Classroom and out of the maternity ward? The effect of compulsory schooling laws on teenage births," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1025-1054, July.
    23. Andrew Goodman-Bacon, 2018. "Difference-in-Differences with Variation in Treatment Timing," NBER Working Papers 25018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Paul Gertler & Sebastian Galiani & Mauricio Romero, 2018. "How to make replication the norm," Nature, Nature, vol. 554(7693), pages 417-419, February.
    25. Anna, Petrenko, 2016. "Мaркування готової продукції як складова частина інформаційного забезпечення маркетингової діяльності підприємств овочепродуктового підкомплексу," Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, Agricultural and Resource Economics: International Scientific E-Journal, vol. 2(1), March.
    26. James Berry & Lucas C. Coffman & Douglas Hanley & Rania Gihleb & Alistair J. Wilson, 2017. "Assessing the Rate of Replication in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 27-31, May.
    27. 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.
    28. Rotem Botvinik-Nezer & Felix Holzmeister & Colin F. Camerer & Anna Dreber & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Roni Iwanir & Jeanette A. Mumford & R. Alison Adcock & Paolo Avesani, 2020. "Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams," Nature, Nature, vol. 582(7810), pages 84-88, June.
    29. Lenz, Gabriel & Sahn, Alexander, 2017. "Achieving Statistical Significance with Covariates and without Transparency," MetaArXiv s42ba, Center for Open Science.
    30. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
    31. Ryan Hill & Carolyn Stein & Heidi Williams, 2020. "Internalizing Externalities: Designing Effective Data Policies," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 110, pages 49-54, May.
    32. repec:hrv:faseco:30367426 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fiala, Nathan & Neubauer, Florian & Peters, Jörg, 2022. "Do economists replicate?," Ruhr Economic Papers 939, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Heckelei, Thomas & Huettel, Silke & Odening, Martin & Rommel, Jens, 2021. "The replicability crisis and the p-value debate – what are the consequences for the agricultural and food economics community?," Discussion Papers 316369, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.
    3. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    4. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    5. Menkveld, A. & Dreber, A. & Holzmeister, F. & Huber, J. & Johannesson, M. & Kirchler, M. & Neusüss, S. & Razen, M. & Neusüss, S. & Neusüss, S., 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Janeway Institute Working Papers 2112, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Turrell, Arthur & Speigner, Bradley & Copple, David & Djumalieva, Jyldyz & Thurgood, James, 2021. "Is the UK’s productivity puzzle mostly driven by occupational mismatch? An analysis using big data on job vacancies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    7. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    8. Breznau, Nate & Rinke, Eike Mark & Wuttke, Alexander & Adem, Muna & Adriaans, Jule & Alvarez-Benjumea, Amalia & Andersen, Henrik Kenneth & Auer, Daniel & Azevedo, Flavio & Bahnsen, Oke, 2021. "Observing Many Researchers using the Same Data and Hypothesis Reveals a Hidden Universe of Data Analysis," MetaArXiv cd5j9, Center for Open Science.
    9. Saavedra, Martin, 2021. "Kenji or Kenneth? Pearl Harbor and Japanese-American assimilation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 602-624.
    10. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    11. Joakim A. Weill & Matthieu Stigler & Olivier Deschenes & Michael R. Springborn, 2021. "Researchers' Degrees-of-Flexibility and the Credibility of Difference-in-Differences Estimates: Evidence From the Pandemic Policy Evaluations," NBER Working Papers 29550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Robert J. Johnston & Kevin J. Boyle & Maria L. Loureiro & Ståle Navrud & John Rolfe, 2021. "Guidance to Enhance the Validity and Credibility of Environmental Benefit Transfers," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 79(3), pages 575-624, July.
    13. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    14. Janna Bergsvik & Agnes Fauske & Rannveig Kaldager Hart, 2021. "Can Policies Stall the Fertility Fall? A Systematic Review of the (Quasi‐) Experimental Literature," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 47(4), pages 913-964, December.
    15. Weill, Joakim A. & Stigler, Matthieu & Deschenes, Olivier & Springborn, Michael R., 2021. "COVID-19 Mobility Policies Impacts: How Credible Are Difference-in-Differences Estimates?," IZA Discussion Papers 14682, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Lucchetti, Riccardo & Pedini, Luca & Pigini, Claudia, 2022. "No such thing as the perfect match: Bayesian Model Averaging for treatment evaluation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Eszter Czibor & David Jimenez‐Gomez & John A. List, 2019. "The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of)," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 371-432, October.
    2. Christophe Hurlin & Christophe Pérignon, 2020. "Reproducibility Certification in Economics Research," Working Papers hal-02896404, HAL.
    3. Hensel, Przemysław G., 2021. "Reproducibility and replicability crisis: How management compares to psychology and economics – A systematic review of literature," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 577-594.
    4. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Fecher, Benedikt & Harhoff, Dietmar & Wagner, Gert G., 2019. "Replication studies in economics—How many and which papers are chosen for replication, and why?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 62-83.
    5. Sylvérie Herbert & Hautahi Kingi & Flavio Stanchi & Lars Vilhubern, 2021. "The Reproducibility of Economics Research: A Case Study," Working papers 853, Banque de France.
    6. Valérie Orozco & Christophe Bontemps & Élise Maigné & Virginie Piguet & Annie Hofstetter & Anne Marie Lacroix & Fabrice Levert & Jean-Marc Rousselle, 2017. "How to make a pie? Reproducible Research for Empirical Economics & Econometrics," Post-Print hal-01939942, HAL.
    7. Hernández Alemán, Anastasia & León, Carmelo J., 2018. "La Réplica en el Análisis Económico Aplicado/Replication in Applied Economic Analysis," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 36, pages 317-332, Enero.
    8. Valérie Orozco & Christophe Bontemps & Elise Maigné & Virginie Piguet & Annie Hofstetter & Anne Lacroix & Fabrice Levert & Jean‐Marc Rousselle, 2020. "How To Make A Pie: Reproducible Research For Empirical Economics And Econometrics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 1134-1169, December.
    9. Mark J. McCabe & Frank Mueller-Langer, 2019. "Does Data Disclosure Increase Citations? Empirical Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Leading Economics Journals," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2019-02, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    10. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in experimental economics: A historical and quantitative approach focused on public good game experiments," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01651080, HAL.
    11. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in experimental economics: A historical and quantitative approach focused on public good game experiments," Working Papers halshs-01651080, HAL.
    12. Fiala, Nathan & Neubauer, Florian & Peters, Jörg, 2022. "Do economists replicate?," Ruhr Economic Papers 939, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    13. Nicolas Vallois & Dorian Jullien, 2017. "Replication in Experimental Economics: A Historical and Quantitative Approach Focused on Public Good Game Experiments," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-21, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    14. Daniels, Gerald Eric & Kakar, Venoo, 2018. "Normalized CES supply-side system approach: How to replicate Klump, McAdam, and Willman (2007)," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 12, pages 1-11.
    15. Andrew C. Chang & Phillip Li, 2015. "Is Economics Research Replicable? Sixty Published Papers from Thirteen Journals Say \"Usually Not\"," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-83, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    17. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    18. Albert J. Menkveld & Anna Dreber & Félix Holzmeister & Juergen Huber & Magnus Johannesson & Michael Kirchler & Sebastian Neusüss & Michael Razen & Utz Weitzel & Gunther Capelle-Blancard, 2021. "Non-Standard Errors," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21033, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    19. Lucas C. Coffman & Muriel Niederle & Alistair J. Wilson, 2017. "A Proposal to Organize and Promote Replications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 41-45, May.
    20. Alecos Papadopoulos, 2022. "Trade liberalization and growth: a quantile moderator for Hoyos’ (2021) replication study of Estevadeordal and Taylor (2013)," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 63(1), pages 549-563, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Replication; Metascience; Research;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:537. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/glabode.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.