Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf: It is time that real pressure be put on academics who refuse to share their data

I second Craig Newmark's remarks:

the authors of a massive--42 pages--lead article in one of the economics profession's top two journals--Journal of Political Economy--whose findings have been cited in the "New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Financial Times, Rolling Stone, ABC NIghtline, ABC World News Tonight, CNBC, BBC News, MTV, NPR, and Bloomberg Radio" have an extraordinary amount of responsibility. They should accept the burden of addressing careful, thoughtful criticism. They should, after a reasonable amount of time, freely share their data with other researchers so that their results can be studied, tested, and if need be, questioned.

Unfortunately, Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf, authors of "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis", don't seem to agree. Stan Liebowitz has sharply but carefully and thoughtfully attacked parts of the paper. So far he has had almost no response. And he would like to further examine the paper's main empirical results, but he has not been able, so far, to obtain the data. . . . .

Of course, this adds to others such as Steve Levitt, Ian Ayres, and John Donohue who have been reluctant to share their data either in a timely manner (measured in years after their research gets national attention) or never at all.

The irony is that Ian Ayres has written a book about extolling the value of empirical work when he has done well publicized work where he and his co-authors won't share their own data.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could there be a free-rider issue?

In this day and age of cutthroat competition for grants, could the authors just not want other scholars to freeload off the time-consuming work of data collection?

John Mosby

10/01/2007 1:03 PM  

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