Replication and reanalysis, lack of incentive for

The problem is especially pronounced in the social sciences. I’d guesstimate perhaps 2% of the pages in the leading economics, policy, political science, and sociology journals feature replication and/or reanalysis. We ought to aim for something in the neighborhood of 33%.

Why the continued preference for new theory and analysis? My guess is simple path dependence. Until recently data were relatively scarce. Replication and reanalysis was no less valuable than today, but it was more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. That’s changed profoundly. Yet the norm at most journals hasn’t. It should.

Where the journals go, tenure committees will follow.

Then again, perhaps the shift can happen without the journals.

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