IN THE NEWS: The Economist (21 January 2016)

(FROM THE ARTICLE “Are Results in Top Journals To Be Trusted?”)  A paper recently published in the American Economic Journal, entitled “Star Wars: The Empirics Strike Back”, “analyses 50,000 tests published between 2005 and 2011 in three top American journals. It finds that the distribution of results (as measured by z-score, a measure of how far away a result is from the expected mean) has a funny double-humped shape (see chart below). The dip between the humps represents “missing” results, which just happen to be in a range just outside the standard cut-off point for statistical significance (where significance is normally denoted with stars, though the name may also be something to do with a film recently released—file under ‘economists trying to be funny’). Their results suggest that among the results that are only just significant, 10-20% have been fudged.” To read more, click here

Economist

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