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This one pushes all my buttons

August Wartin writes:

Just wanted to make you aware of this ongoing discussion about an article in JPE:

It’s the same professor Lidbom that was involved in this discussion a few years ago (I believe you mentioned something about it on your blog).

Indeed, we blogged it here.

Here’s the abstract of Lidbom’s more recent article:

In this comment, I [Lidbom] revisit the question raised in Karadja and Prawitz (2019) concerning a causal relationship between mass emigration and long-run political outcomes. I find that their analysis fails to recognize that their independent variable of interest, emigration, is severely underreported since approximately 30% of all Swedish emigrants are missing from their data. As a result, their instrumental variable estimator is inconsistent due to nonclassical measurement error. Another important problem is that their instrument is unlikely to be conditionally exogenous due to insufficient control for confounders correlated with their weather-based instrument. Indeed, they fail to properly account for non-linearities in the effect of weather shocks and to control for unobserved heterogeneity at the weather station level. Correcting for the any of these problems reveals that there is no relationship between emigration and political outcomes.

This one pushes all my buttons:

– Breakdown of the traditional publication process, with a series of replies appearing in different places,

– Measurement error problems,

– The use of weather as an instrumental variable,

– Claims based on statistical significance.

I do not have the energy to look into the details here, but it seemed to be worth sharing.

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