The author of a controversial 2009 paper arguing that at least some amount of global warming could lead to economic gains has corrected the paper, along with a later article in a different journal. We confess to be baffled by the implications of the mix-up, although others appear to be less confused.
The 2009 article, “The Economic Effects of Climate Change,” was written by Richard Tol, of the University of Sussex, and appeared in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. It has been cited 91 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Science.
The Dutch papers are reporting that Peter Nijkamp, one of the leading economists in The Netherlands, has been embroiled in what looks like a self-plagiarism scandal following the cancellation of a thesis defense by one of his graduate students because of plagiarism.
We say “what looks like” because it’s tough to figure out what’s alleged here, given our reliance on translations. Best we can tell, the allegations against his graduate student are for plagiarism, while those against Nijkamp are for duplication, a.k.a. self-plagiarism.
The Economist (among other outlets) this week is reporting about a similar nother database glitch — not, we’ll admit, a retraction — involving a landmark 2010 paper by a pair of highly influential economists. The controversial article, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” by Harvard scholars Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, argued that countries that took on debt in excess of 90% of their gross domestic product suffered sharp drops in economic growth. That evidence became grist for the austerity mill, including Paul Ryan.
Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia University and a friend of the blog, has corrected a 2008 paper in the blunt way you’d expect him to.
Here’s the notice in the Annals of Applied Statistics:
In the paper, “Should the Democrats move to the left on economic policy?” AOAS 2 (2), 536-549 (2008), by Andrew Gelman and Cexun Jeffrey Cai, because of a data coding error on one of the variables, all our analysis of social issues is incorrect. Thus, arguably, all of Section 3 is wrong until proven otherwise. We thank Yang Yang Hu for discovering this error and demonstrating its importance.
The story concerns Brian Swart, a Grinnell economics professor who “abruptly resigned in the middle of last semester,” reporters Peter Sullivan and Hayes Gardner note. As is unfortunately often the case, the university wouldn’t say why Swart was leaving. But Sullivan and Gardner didn’t leave it there. They talked to “professors from other institutions involved in the situation” and got the food of investigative reporters everywhere: Documents. Those interviews and documents showed that: Continue reading One plagiarized economics paper that won’t need to be retracted