[From the article “Why Economics Is Having a Replication Crisis” by Noah Smith, published at http://www.bloomberg.com]
“By now, most people have heard of the replication crisis in psychology. When researchers try to recreate the experiments that led to published findings, only slightly more than half of the results tend to turn out the same as before. Biology and medicine are probably riddled with similar issues.”
“But what about economics? Experimental econ is akin to psychology, and has similar issues. But most of the economics research you read about doesn’t involve experiments — it’s empirical, meaning it relies on gathering data from the real world and analyzing it statistically. Statistical calculations suggest that there are probably a lot of unreliable empirical results getting published and publicized.”
“…That doesn’t mean that single results aren’t worth reporting or taking into account, but a single finding shouldn’t be enough to generate certainty about how the world works. In a universe filled with uncertainty, social science can’t progress by leaps and bounds — it must crawl forward, feeling its way inch by inch toward a little more truth.”
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