Difference between revisions of "Pre-Analysis Plan"

Jump to: navigation, search
Line 3: Line 3:
  
 
== Read First ==
 
== Read First ==
 +
While most economics journals do not currently require PAPs as a condition for publication, researchers may choose to produce a PAP prior to data analysis to: (i) increase the credibility of their findings; and (ii) help researchers finetune their analysis strategy.
 +
 +
While PAPs provide the benefit of potentially reducing the prevalence of spurious results, this comes at the cost of tying researcher hands more formally to ex ante analysis plans that may limit the potential of exploratory learning. Benjamin Olken provides a summary of the costs and benefits associated with fully pre-specifying the analysis for a development economics RCT [https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.29.3.61]. He notes that "forcing all papers to be fully pre-specified from start to end would likely results in simpler papers, which could potentially lose some of the nuance of current work", but that "in many contexts, pre-specification of one (or a few) key primary outcome variables, statistical specifications, and control variables offers a number of advantages".
  
 
== Guidelines ==
 
== Guidelines ==
While most economics journals do not currently require PAPs as a condition for publication, researchers may choose to produce a PAP prior to data analysis to: (i) increase the credibility of their findings; and (ii) help researchers finetune their analysis strategy.
 
  
While PAPs provide the benefit of potentially reducing the prevalence of spurious results, this comes at the cost of tying researcher hands more formally to ex ante analysis plans that may limit the potential of exploratory learning. Benjamin Olken provides a summary of the costs and benefits associated with fully pre-specifying the analysis for a development economics RCT [https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.29.3.61]. He notes that "forcing all papers to be fully pre-specified from start to end would likely results in simpler papers, which could potentially lose some of the nuance of current work", but that "in many contexts, pre-specification of one (or a few) key primary outcome variables, statistical specifications, and control variables offers a number of advantages".
 
  
 
== Back to Parent ==
 
== Back to Parent ==

Revision as of 23:41, 9 February 2018

A pre-analysis plan (PAP) lays out how the researcher will analyze data, at the design stage of an impact evaluation. The objective of a PAP is to prevent data mining and specification searching.


Read First

While most economics journals do not currently require PAPs as a condition for publication, researchers may choose to produce a PAP prior to data analysis to: (i) increase the credibility of their findings; and (ii) help researchers finetune their analysis strategy.

While PAPs provide the benefit of potentially reducing the prevalence of spurious results, this comes at the cost of tying researcher hands more formally to ex ante analysis plans that may limit the potential of exploratory learning. Benjamin Olken provides a summary of the costs and benefits associated with fully pre-specifying the analysis for a development economics RCT [1]. He notes that "forcing all papers to be fully pre-specified from start to end would likely results in simpler papers, which could potentially lose some of the nuance of current work", but that "in many contexts, pre-specification of one (or a few) key primary outcome variables, statistical specifications, and control variables offers a number of advantages".

Guidelines

Back to Parent

This article is part of the topic Research Ethics


Additional Resources

DOI: 10.1257/jep.29.3.61