Which findings should be published?
Maximilian Kasy () and
No mbvz3, MetaArXiv from Center for Open Science
Given a scarcity of journal space, what is the socially optimal rule for whether an empirical finding should be published? Suppose that the goal of publication is to inform the public about a policy-relevant state. Then journals should publish extreme results, meaning ones that move beliefs sufficiently. For specific objectives, the optimal rule can take the form of a one- or a two-sided test comparing a point estimate to the prior mean, with critical values deter- mined by a cost-benefit analysis. An explicit consideration of future studies may additionally justify the publication of precise null results. If one insists that standard inference remain valid, however, publication must not select on the study’s findings (but may select on the study’s design).
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