A primary goal of empirical work is to generate results that are internally valid and replicable. Researchers make hundreds of decisions about data collection, preparation, and analysis in their work. In “The Influence of Hidden Researcher Decisions in Applied Microeconomics,” Senior Economist Naibin Chen and co-authors measure the extent and impact of these decisions. Given the same data and research question of interest, they find considerable variation across researchers in the way they clean and prepare data and design their analyses, leading to considerable variation in results.
The article won the 2021 Best Economic Inquiry Article award. Read the article here.