Discussion paper

DP16751 Non-Standard Errors

In statistics, samples are drawn from a population in a data generating process (DGP). Standard errors measure the uncertainty in sample estimates of population parameters. In science, evidence is generated to test hypotheses in an evidence generating process (EGP). We claim that EGP variation across researchers adds uncertainty: non-standard errors. To study them, we let 164 teams test six hypotheses on the same sample. We find that non-standard errors are sizeable, on par with standard errors. Their size (i) co-varies only weakly with team
merits, reproducibility, or peer rating, (ii) declines significantly after peer-feedback, and (iii) is underestimated by participants.


Dreber, A, F Holzmeister, J Huber, M Johannesson, M Kirchler, A Menkveld, S Neusüess, M Razen, U Weitzel and C Wolff (2021), ‘DP16751 Non-Standard Errors‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16751. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16751