NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Yang Xu

HSBC Business School
Peking University
University Town, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2017Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself
with Uri Gneezy, John A. List, Jeffrey A. Livingston, Sally Sadoff, Xiangdong Qin: w24004
Tests measuring and comparing educational achievement are an important policy tool. We experimentally show that offering students extrinsic incentives to put forth effort on such achievement tests has differential effects across cultures. Offering incentives to U.S. students, who generally perform poorly on assessments, improved performance substantially. In contrast, Shanghai students, who are top performers on assessments, were not affected by incentives. Our findings suggest that in the absence of extrinsic incentives, ranking countries based on low-stakes assessments is problematic because test scores reflect differences in intrinsic motivation to perform well on the test itself, and not just differences in ability.
January 2016Multiple Hypothesis Testing in Experimental Economics
with John A. List, Azeem M. Shaikh: w21875
Empiricism in the sciences allows us to test theories, formulate optimal policies, and learn how the world works. In this manner, it is critical that our empirical work provides accurate conclusions about underlying data patterns. False positives represent an especially important problem, as vast public and private resources can be misguided if we base decisions on false discovery. This study explores one especially pernicious influence on false positives—multiple hypothesis testing (MHT). While MHT potentially affects all types of empirical work, we consider three common scenarios where MHT influences inference within experimental economics: jointly identifying treatment effects for a set of outcomes, estimating heterogeneous treatment effects through subgroup analysis, and conducting hyp...
 
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