Publication Bias and Editorial Statement on Negative Findings EconomicsSSMART

Abel Brodeur and Cristina Blanco-Perez

The introduction of confidence at 95 percent or 90 percent has led the academic community to accept more easily starry stories with marginally significant coefficients than starless ones with insignificant coefficients. In February 2015, the editors of eight health economics journals sent out an editorial statement encouraging referees to accept studies that: “have potential scientific and publication merit regardless of whether such studies’ empirical findings do or do not reject null hypotheses that may be specified.” In this study, we test whether this editorial statement on negative results induced a change in the number of published papers not rejecting the null. More precisely, we collect p-values from health economics journals and compare the distribution of tests before and after the editorial statement.

Working Paper: https://osf.io/45eba/