Improving transparency in observational social science research: A pre-analysis plan approach

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Description: Social science research has undergone a credibility revolution, but these gains are at risk due to problematic research practices. Existing research on transparency has centered around randomized controlled trials, which constitute only a small fraction of research in economics. In this paper, I discuss three scenarios in which study preregistration can be credibly applied in non-experimental settings: cases where researchers collect their own data; prospective studies; and research using restricted-access data. Finally, I outline suggested contents for observational pre-analysis plans, and highlight where these plans should deviate from those designed for experimental research.

License: CC0 1.0 Universal

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