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Testing for Publication Bias in Political Science

Alan S. Gerber, Donald P. Green and David Nickerson
Political Analysis
Vol. 9, No. 4 (Autumn 2001), pp. 385-392
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25791658
Page Count: 8
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Testing for Publication Bias in Political Science
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Abstract

If the publication decisions of journals are a function of the statistical significance of research findings, the published literature may suffer from "publication bias." This paper describes a method for detecting publication bias. We point out that to achieve statistical significance, the effect size must be larger in small samples. If publications tend to be biased against statistically insignificant results, we should observe that the effect size diminishes as sample sizes increase. This proposition is tested and confirmed using the experimental literature on voter mobilization.

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