“The Significance of Statistical Significance” reviews THE CULT OF STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice and Lives by Stephen T. Ziliak and Dierdre N. McCloskey. The book’s core message is that statistical significance should not be equated with substantive significance and that empirical researchers should convey more information about the magnitude of relationships and effects than many now do. This review summarizes, approves of and elaborates on Ziliak and McCloskey’s message with special attention to concerns of the legal academy. It clarifies appropriate uses of significance tests within the research framework of controlling for plausible rival hypotheses.



Date of this Version

May 2008

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Economics Commons