Multiple Testing in Economics

21 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2013

See all articles by Campbell R. Harvey

Campbell R. Harvey

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yan Liu

Purdue University

Date Written: November 21, 2013


We propose a new way to conduct multiple hypothesis testing in economics research. Our framework allows for correlation among tests and incomplete data, both of which are prevalent in economic meta-analysis. Our simulations show that that our method is able to produce the correct p-value cutoff that controls the overall rate of false discoveries at a prespecified level of significance. The single hypothesis test, as used by most researchers, leads to too many false discoveries and should be avoided.

Keywords: Multiple tests, Correlation, Incomplete data, Meta-analysis, Data mining, False discoveries, Type I error, Type II error

JEL Classification: C12, C13, C21, C22, C52, G12, O11, B41

Suggested Citation

Harvey, Campbell R. and Liu, Yan, Multiple Testing in Economics (November 21, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Campbell R. Harvey (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7768 (Phone)


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yan Liu

Purdue University ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States


Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics