The Significance of Statistical Significance: Two Authors Restate an Incontrovertible Caution - Why a Book?
University of Michigan Law School
U of Michigan Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 08-007
"The Significance of Statistical Significance" reviews "THE CULT OF STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice and Lives" by Stephen T. Ziliak and Dierdre N. McCloskey. The book's core message is that statistical significance should not be equated with substantive significance and that empirical researchers should convey more information about the magnitude of relationships and effects than many now do. This review summarizes, approves of and elaborates on Ziliak and McCloskeys message with special attention to concerns of the legal academy. It clarifies appropriate uses of significance tests within the research framework of controlling for plausible rival hypotheses.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: Statistical significance, significance tests, review, Cult of Statistical Significance, empirical methods, statistical methods
JEL Classification: A10, C10
Date posted: June 11, 2008