Featured Book

Transparent and Reproducible Social Science Research
Garret Christensen, Jeremy Freese, and Edward Miguel

Social science fields have each taken their turn in the spotlight with instances of influential research that fell apart when scrutinized. Beyond deliberate fraud, there is growing evidence that much social science research features sloppy yet inadvertent errors, and a sense that many analyses produce statistically “significant” results only by chance. Due in part to a rising number of highly publicized cases, there is growing demand for solutions. A movement is emerging across disciplines towards greater research transparency, open science, and reproducibility. Researchers have developed new tools for combatting false positives and non-reproducible findings, as well as adapting approaches from medicine and other fields. For instance, more researchers are conducting meta-analyses, pushing to reform the journal peer review process to focus on good research design rather than on “sexy” results, and posting pre-specified hypothesis documents in public registries, all to curb rampant publication bias. New software tools make it easier to implement version control with dynamic documents that can reproduce an entire research workflow with a single mouse click, and data repositories are making it simple to download others’ data, encouraging the replication and extension of previous work. Our textbook is the first to fully synthesize these new methods. (The book is forthcoming with University of California Press, expected publication date: July 2019).

Featured Articles

Does Providing Electricity to the Poor Reduce Poverty? Research Suggests Not Quite
Kenneth Lee, Edward Miguel, Catherine Wolfram
March 9, 2018

But does electricity really help lift households out of poverty? My co-authors and I set out to answer this question. ...

Read more

Despite $7 billion to 'Power Africa', why the continent is still in the dark
Kenneth Lee and Edward Miguel
July 30, 2015

Power Africa is tackling a critical global challenge. All of Sub-Saharan Africa, with 961 million residents, currently only consumes about as much power as New York City. Expanding energy access will be vital for driving Africa’s economic transformation over the coming decades. Yet our research in Kenya shows that most households and businesses still face major barriers to accessing electricity. In recent years, hundreds of...

Read more

Weather and Violence
Marshall Burke, Solomon Hsiang, and Edward Miguel
New York Times
August 30, 2013

As temperatures rise, tempers flare. Anyone who has experienced the hostility of a swelteringly hot summer day in the city can attest to that. But researchers are now quantifying the causal relationship between extreme climate and human conflict. Whether their focus is on small-scale interpersonal aggression or large-scale political instability, low-income or high-income societies, the year 10,000 B.C. or the present day, the overall conclusion...

Read more