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asked ago in Current Economic Issues by (120 points)
What is the major challenge to the economic research credibility in the era we can easily manipulate and simulate data .

1 Answer

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answered ago by (150 points)
Reasonable people will disagree about about which challenge is the most important, but here are some serious candidates.

1) Comprehension: Much research relies on familiarity with relatively arcane details (theorems, estimators, institutions, solution techniques, algorithms) specific to a particular subject area, so that economists not intimately familiar with those details are required to accept the validity of the research more or less on faith.
2) Contradiction: In many areas, research results are contradictory. Knowing this makes consumers of research reluctant to accept results on faith. Understanding the sources of these contradictory results and  resolving them is a substantial undertaking.
3) Replication: In empirical work, replication of results has been a major problem. Data may be confidential or proprietary, and many public data series are subject to revision. Limited sharing and interoperability of computer code is another stumbling block.
4) Professionalism: There are strong individual incentives to exaggerate the importance of results and minimize their limitations and appropriate caveats. In addition, many researchers set out determine to prove or find a particular result, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.
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