In 2010, Reinhart and Rogoff published a paper that, by many accounts, turned out to be influential in framing economic policy options back then. After looking at the dataset, economists at the University of Massachusetts have poked multiple holes in R&R's methodology, including an error in their Excel spreadsheet program. Start with Andrew Gelman's advice to R&R: "it’s best to admit your errors and go on from there," and look at the links for the backstory.
This episode has triggered a flurry of posts on similar disasters in economics literature: Catherine Rampell has a post on A History of Oopsies in Economic Studies. See also: Dean Baker on In History of Economic Errors, Martin Feldstein Deserves Mention, Paul Krugman on another disastrous Excel error.
See also: Felix Salmon on the R&R fiasco.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Links: Bad Science Edition
Posted by Abi. Posted at 6:08 PM