NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Shackling the Identification Police?

Christopher J. Ruhm

NBER Working Paper No. 25320
Issued in November 2018
NBER Program(s):Economics of Aging, Children, Economics of Education, Environment and Energy Economics, Health Care, Health Economics, Labor Studies, Public Economics

This paper examines potential tradeoffs between research methods in answering important questions versus providing more cleanly identified estimates on problems that are potentially of lesser interest. The strengths and limitations of experimental and quasi-experimental methods are discussed and it is postulated that confidence in the results obtained may sometimes be overvalued compared to the importance of the topics addressed. The consequences of this are modeled and several suggestions are provided regarding possible steps to encourage greater focus on questions of fundamental importance.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25320

Published: Christopher J. Ruhm, 2019. "Shackling the Identification Police?," Southern Economic Journal, vol 85(4), pages 1016-1026. citation courtesy of

 
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