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Researcher Incentives and Empirical Methods

28 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2006  

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: September 15, 2006

Abstract

Economists are quick to assume opportunistic behavior in almost every walk of life other than our own. Our empirical methods are based on assumptions of human behavior that would not pass muster in any of our models. The solution to this problem is not to expect a mass renunciation of data mining, selective data cleaning or opportunistic methodology selection, but rather to follow Leamer's lead in designing and using techniques that anticipate the behavior of optimizing researchers. In this essay, I make ten points about a more economic approach to empirical methods and suggest paths for methodological progress.

Suggested Citation

Glaeser, Edward L., Researcher Incentives and Empirical Methods (September 15, 2006). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2122. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=934557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.934557

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics ( email )

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