Were Krause and Méndez correct that voters punish corrupt political candidates? Do Toya and Skidmore’s economic variables actually make a difference in the number of deaths and damages from natural disasters? Does the millionaires’ tax really have no effect on the migration of the wealthy as reported by Young and Varner? These studies and more were closely examined and replicated in Public Finance Review‘s Special Issue on Replications in Public Finance.
Editor James Alm and Replication Editor W. Robert Reed discuss the need for replications in their introduction to the Special Issue:
One of the main principles of the ‘‘scientific method’’ is the necessity of replicating research results. However, replication has seldom been a valued part of economic research, despite the presence of some articles that have highlighted the need for replications (Dewald, Thursby, and Anderson 1986; Mirowski and Sklivas 1991; McCullough and Vinod 1999; Hamermesh 2007). There is hardly an important area in economics that is not characterized by disparate findings on the same subject. With the growth in empirical methods in economics—using data from naturally occurring studies, field experiments, and laboratory experiments and applying increasingly sophisticated econometric methods—the absence of replication studies has become even more troubling, raising questions about the robustness of many of the published findings and so about its true value to policy makers.
You can read Public Finance Review‘s Special Issue on Replications in Public Finance for free for the next 30 days! Click here to access the Table of Contents. Want to know about all the least research and replications from Public Finance Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!