Improving agricultural policy decisions through replications
Research output: Contribution to journal › Comment/debate › Research › peer-review
Currently, policy decisions are often made based on untested scientific results. Replication studies repeat previously published research and, thus, are an effective way to test the validity and reliability of research studies, as well as to test the potential for generalisations of such studies. Replications can contribute to improved policy decisions and thus more efficient use of resources. To date, very few replications of research in agricultural economics are available and the incentives to engage in replications are low. Moreover, the conditions for replicating studies are poor. For example, published articles often lack full transparency in terms of documentation, data and computer code. This Point de Vue highlights the advantages of striving for conditions that facilitate replication studies and foster such a culture in agricultural economics. Policymakers could explicitly invite and support replications of studies that are key for good policymaking. To this end, they can address both demand-side and supply-side problems of replications, for example, by inviting, valuing and supporting replications of policy-relevant analyses and by providing institutional and legal infrastructure facilitating open science and replications. With this, policy can support the agricultural economics profession, while agricultural economists can support sound policymaking, both reaping the benefits of a more transparent research culture.
© 2023 The Authors. EuroChoices published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Agricultural Economics Society and European Association of Agricultural Economists.