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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 15 No. 3 (Summer 2001)

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Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review

Article Citation

Stanley, T D. 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(3): 131-150.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.131

Abstract

This paper presents and develops a quantitative method of literature reviewing and evaluating empirical research, meta-regression analysis or MRA. Economics is theory-driven. Yet, we must learn empirically if economics is to advance. MRA offers a more objective statistical method to summarize our empirical knowledge and to explain the wide study-to-study variation in economic research. MRA is used to assess the evidence for Ricardian equivalence, and its findings are contrasted to those of conventional narrative review. Furthermore, MRA establishes a platform from which to distinguish genuine empirical effect from the exploitable specification error that infests applied econometrics.

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Authors

Stanley, T. D. (Hendrix College)

JEL Classifications

A14: Sociology of Economics
B41: Economic Methodology

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