Quantitative Political Science Research is Greatly Underpowered

We analyze the statistical power of political science research by collating over 16,000 hypothesis tests from about 2,000 articles. Even with generous assumptions, the median analysis has about 10% power, and only about 1 in 10 tests have at least 80% power to detect the consensus effects reported in the literature. There is also substantial heterogeneity in tests across research areas, with some being characterized by high-power but most having very low power. To contextualize our findings, we survey political methodologists to assess their expectations about power levels. Most methodologists greatly overestimate the statistical power of political science research.

By Vincent Arel-Bundock, et.al.

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