Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

Correction restores confidence in results of confidence study

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Strategic Management JournalA study that looked at how entrepreneurs’ confidence levels change depending on market conditions has been corrected to fix an error that flipped the results of one of the experiments.

The paper was published in 2013 by the Strategic Management Journaland explored how entrepreneurs stay confident in difficult marketplaces by studying how people reacted to tasks of varying difficulty. In one experiment, participants were asked how well they thought they did on an easy quiz and how well they did on a hard quiz. Results showed that “participants underestimated their scores on the easy quiz” and “overestimated their performance on the difficult quiz.” However, authors wrote the opposite in the final paper.

Here’s the correction notice for “Making Sense of Overconfidence in Market Entry”:

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Mega-correction for “empirical anomalies” in management paper

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The Academy of Management JournalThe author of a paper that looked at how the geographical spread of research and development sites has impacted innovation has posted a four-page list of corrections that fixed “empirical anomalies” in the paper.

A group of PhD students raised concerns about the paper’s findings, according to the editor-in-chief of The Academy of Management Journal, Gerard George. The journal formed a committee that worked with the author to reproduce the results. That ended with a correction to two of the paper’s three hypotheses, and corresponding parts of the text.

The four-page notice — (the details of which are paywalled, unfortunately) — includes notes from the journal’s editor and the author:

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Erratum for economics paper after authors “failed to cite some very relevant recent papers”

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Experimental EconomicsThe authors of a paper that examined the best way to inspire creativity in the workplace have issued an erratum after they “failed to cite some very relevant recent papers in experimental economics.”

The paper, “Incentives for creativity,” was published by Experimental Economics only a few months ago — in May — by two researchers from the University of California San Diego and the University of Amsterdam. Sanjiv Erat and Uri Gneezy found that incentives don’t actually improve creativity, and competitive incentives can actually reduce creativity.

The notice updates the paper with references to four studies published between 2012 and 2015:

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Paper on narcissistic CEOs earns big correction

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home_coverIt may not be much of a surprise that narcissistic CEOs of pharmaceutical companies will make bold choices, such as adopting radically new technology. That idea remains true, despite a lengthy correction to a paper that supports it.

The paper, “CEO Narcissism, Audience Engagement, and Organizational Adoption of Technological Discontinuities,” in Administrative Science Quarterly, found support for the following hypothesis:

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“Goodbye…”?: Editor pulls farewell editorial after deeming it “inappropriate”

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3We’ve unearthed a retraction of an editorial titled “Goodbye…”, pulled from Cognition, Technology & Work by its retiring editor after he decided it was “inappropriate.”

The original text is not online. The note in its place reads, in full:

This article has been retracted due to unintended publication.

The author of the editorial is psychologist Erik Hollnagel, based at the University of Southern Denmark, who left the journal after a decade. Interestingly, his own research includes studies of “When Things Go Wrong” (per the title of one of his book chapters), ranging from financial crises to the Fukushima disaster.

The error that led to this reaction seems tiny, in comparison. Hollnagel explains:

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Second correx for controversial paper on the financial benefits of climate change

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Journal of Economic PerspectivesThe Journal of Economic Perspectives has published a second correction for a 2009 paper that argued that some amount of global warming could lead to economic gains.

The author of “The Economic Effects of Climate Change,” Richard Tol, a professor of economics at the University of Sussex, blamed earlier problems with the paper on “gremlins.” In a notice posted last year, Tol wrote that “minus signs were dropped”; he also added a pair of “overlooked estimates” and several recently published studies.

After the first correction was published, several people contacted the JEP to point out more issues with the paper. Editors worked with Tol and outside researchers to update the paper again.

Here’s some text from the newest correction notice:

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Two retractions cost economic historian book chapter and journal article

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markets and morality

Francisco Gómez Camacho has lost an introduction in The Journal of Markets and Morality of a 2005 issue “for improper use of published material without attribution, as well as a a chapter in a collection of 13 scholarly essays  by Brill Publishers due to “serious citation issues.”

The introduction — to a translation of another scholars’ work, Luis de Molina’s Treatise on Money — is no longer in the online version of The Journal of Markets and Morality. On the cover page, and in the table of contents, of the treatise, references to the introduction are crossed out. Where it once was in the text — page 5 of the PDF of the treatise — is a short retraction notice:

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Written by Shannon Palus

July 20th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Accounting professor notches 30 (!) retractions after misconduct finding

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James Hunton, via Bentley University

James Hunton, via Bentley University

It began with a retraction due to a “misstatement” in November 2012, which led to an investigation that found the first author, James E. Hunton, guilty of misconduct.  Now, the floodgates have opened, and Hunton has 31 retractions under his belt, making him the newest addition to the Retraction Watch leaderboard.

A month after the first retraction in 2012, Hunton resigned from his accounting professorship at Bentley University, citing family and health concerns.

Then, in 2014, a university investigation concluded that Hunton fabricated data in two papers and may have destroyed evidence. The first paper was the one retracted from Accounting Review for a misstatement; the second was retracted from Contemporary Accounting Research in December 2014. Even though the investigation centered around two publications, the university suggested more may be affected:

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“This article was published in error”: Economics paper defaults

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EDQ_ak14An economist in Taiwan has retracted a paper about from Economic Development Quarterly because it was “published in error.”

The paper — first published online March 5, 2013 — addresses the influence of information and communication technology on economic growth.

According to the notice, the paper included “the original dataset and excerpts from an earlier draft of the paper co-written by the author and colleagues.” The only listed author, Yi-Chia Wang, asked that the article be retracted before making it into print, but it looks like it was included in the February, 2015 issue of the journal.

Here’s the notice for “How ICT Penetration Influences Productivity Growth: Evidence From 17 OECD Countries”: Read the rest of this entry »

University finds Dutch economist guilty of misconduct; he responds

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Peter Nijkamp

The Free University of Amsterdam found Peter Nijkamp, one of the nation’s leading economists who has lost several papers for self-plagiarism, has been found guilty of “questionable research practices,” according to the newly released results of an investigation.

Nijkamp has published a strongly worded criticism of the report (at least according to Google Translate, since his writing is in Dutch).

According to independent student publication Ad Valvas, the commission, led by Jaap Zwemmer, a professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, found Nijkamp was guilty of “questionable research practices.” University rector Frank van der Duyn Schouten, on the other hand, said in an official statement that there was “insufficient basis” to claim questionable research practices for each article.

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Written by Cat Ferguson

March 20th, 2015 at 11:30 am