Thursday, April 20, 2006

Replicated cat fights 

The battle between economists John Lott and Steve Levitt has made it to the Chronicle of Higher Ed (temporary link.) The argument is about whether Levitt's statement that he could not "replicate" Lott's results is defamatory. It is at least careless. While the law probably would not support Lott's claim, Levitt has to know of the specific definition of "replication studies". Choosing just one different word would have saved all of this, while still allowing Levitt to claim Lott's study was not robust, which we all knew anyway.

I for one am in favor of replication studies, and I recommend Gary King's efforts to seek more of them.