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Publication - Dr Yanos Zylberberg

    Star Wars

    The Empirics Strike Back


    Brodeur, A, Lé, M, Sangnier, M & Zylberberg, Y, 2016, ‘Star Wars: The Empirics Strike Back’. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol 8., pp. 1-32


    Using 50,000 tests published in the AER, JPE, and QJE, we identify a residual in the distribution of tests that cannot be explained solely by journals favoring rejection of the null hypothesis. We observe a two-humped camel shape with missing p-values between 0.25 and 0.10 that can be retrieved just after the 0.05 threshold and represent 10-20 percent of marginally rejected tests. Our interpretation is that researchers inflate the value of just-rejected tests by choosing "significant" specifications. We propose a method to measure this residual and describe how it varies by article and author characteristics.

    Full details in the University publications repository