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Irregularities in 'Governance and Taxes'

25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2017 Last revised: 2 Feb 2018

Alex Young

North Dakota State University - College of Business Administration

Date Written: May 3, 2017


A comparison of "Governance and Taxes" with a previous working paper version reveals a number of irregularities that together suggest the analysis was not performed as described in the published version. In particular, the two versions claim to use different main empirical specifications, but the numbers in all 11 tables are exactly the same in both versions. An assessment of other comparisons between the two versions suggests that it is unlikely that these irregularities are unintentional errors. Instead, a straightforward explanation of these anomalies is data falsification: the working paper version accurately describes the main specification, and the published version misstates the main specification. I conclude by demonstrating that the main result, when accurately described, fails a simple placebo test and is therefore spurious.

Keywords: data falsification, publication ethics, Russell 2000

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Young, Alex, Irregularities in 'Governance and Taxes' (May 3, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Alex Young (Contact Author)

North Dakota State University - College of Business Administration ( email )

Fargo, ND 58105
United States

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