The Null Result Penalty
Ingar K. Haaland and his co-authors have a new publication in The Economic Journal. In their paper titled "The Null Result Penalty," they uncover a common bias in how research is looked at.
In a fresh twist on how we look at economics research, Ingar K. Haaland from FAIR and his co-authors Felix Chopra, Christopher Roth and Andreas Stegmann, have made an important discovery about how studies are judged. In their paper titled "The Null Result Penalty," they uncover a common bias in how research is looked at. This bias makes studies with null results – where nothing big or exciting is found – seem less important, even when things like how big the study was and how accurate the results are, are taken into account.
What's interesting is that this bias happens a lot. It affects both new researchers and experienced journal editors. It's like a pattern that's hard to break. The researchers also looked at why this bias happens. They found that when experts think a study will have a big impact, the bias gets worse. And when scientists use certain ways to show how sure they are about their results, this bias also gets stronger.
With these eye-opening findings, Haaland's work is pushing for a change in how research is reviewed. By talking about the null result penalty, the study is showing that we need to fix how we look at the research. Maybe by looking at studies before they're done, we can make things fairer and more equal.