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Are all Economic Hypotheses False?
J. Bradford De Long and Kevin Lang
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 100, No. 6, Centennial Issue (Dec., 1992), pp. 1257-1272
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138833
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Null hypothesis, Significance level, Political economy, Econometrics, P values, Coefficients, Statistics, Point estimators, Economic statistics, Hypothesis testing
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We develop an estimator that allows us to calculate an upper bound to the fraction of unrejected null hypotheses tested in economics journal articles that are in fact true. Our point estimate is that none of the unrejected nulls in our sample is true. We reject the hypothesis that more than one-third are true. We consider three explanations for this finding: that all null hypotheses are mere approximations, that data-mining biases reported standard errors downward, and that journals tend to publish papers that fail to reject their null hypotheses only when the null hypotheses are likely to be false. While all these explanations are important, the last seems best able to explain our findings.
Journal of Political Economy © 1992 The University of Chicago Press