A Practical Guide to Registered Reports for Economists
54 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2022 Last revised: 5 Aug 2022
Date Written: August 5, 2022
The current publication system in economics has encouraged the inflation of positive results in empirical papers. Registered Reports, also called Pre-Results Reviews, are a new submission format for empirical work that take pre-registration one step further. In Registered Reports, researchers write their paper before the data collection and commit to a detailed data collection process and analysis plan. After a first-stage review, a journal can give an In-Principle-Acceptance guaranteeing that the paper will be published if the authors carry out their data collection and analysis as pre-specified. We here propose a practical guide to Registered Reports for empirical economists. We illustrate the major problems that Registered Reports address (p-hacking, HARKing, and publication bias), and present practical guidelines on how to write and review Registered Reports (e.g., the data analysis plan, power analysis, and correction for multiple-hypothesis testing), with R and STATA codes. We provide specific examples for experimental economics, and show how research design can be improved to maximize statistical power. Last, we discuss some tools that authors, editors and referees can use to evaluate Registered Reports (checklist, study design table, and quality assessment).
Keywords: registered reports, practical guide, pre-registration, p-hacking, HARKing, multiple-hypothesis testing, power analysis, smallest effect size of interest
JEL Classification: A10, C12, C9
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation