Dr. Maren Duvendack
School of International Development
University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ
I am happy to see these efforts. I have tried numerous times to replicate others’ results – never successfully. I work a lot in policy areas, often providing expert testimony, and I have always thought that regulators should require parties to release their data if they intend to have any impact on policy. Unfortunately, this is never done. I read your recent article on the status of replication and congratulate you for undertaking this. I have a suggestion, however. It is good when journals have a data policy but it would be useful to investigate how much it is actually followed. For example, I accessed the Review of Economics and Statistics website (linked to your article) and the first 3 articles I tried to download replication data for – all were not available because the data was proprietary. I have seen similar things with the AER.
I suppose it is good to have a policy but if the data is almost always deemed “proprietary” then it isn’t really worth that much. From my experience, that is often the case. I also note that interest in replication appears more robust outside of the US. While it is dangerous to generalize, I believe there is something to this. US economists are not much interested in replication – they make too much money without it and don’t wish to endanger their rents.