I agree with the general point raised by Berk in his previous post in this blog (read it here). We need to discuss when and how to conduct scientific replication of existing research in social sciences. I also agree with him that, at least in economics, pure replication analysis –which in my view it is the only genuine replication analysis- is of secondary interest –I hope to return to this issue in a future contribution in this blog. Instead, I believe that we should emphasize replication of relevant and internally valid studies both in similar and different environments. There is now excessive confidence in the knowledge gathered by a single study in a particular environment, perhaps as a result of a misconstruction of the virtues of experimentation in social sciences. As Donald T. Campbell once wrote (1969):
Have you seen an impact evaluation result that gives you pause? Well, now there’s an institutional way to check on results of already published evaluations. 3ie recently announced a program for replication. They are going to focus on internal validity – replicating the results with the existing data and/or using different data from the same population to check results (in some cases).