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Seminar – Optimal pre-analysis plans: Statistical decisions subject to implementability

Tinbergen Institute

What is the purpose of pre-analysis plans, and how should they be designed? We propose a principal-agent model where a decision-maker relies on selective but truthful reports by an analyst. The analyst has data access, and non-aligned objectives. In this model, the implementation of statistical decision rules (tests, estimators) requires an incentive-compatible mechanism. We first characterize which decision rules can be implemented.
We then characterize optimal statistical decision rules subject to implementability. We show that implementation requires pre-analysis plans.
Focussing specifically on hypothesis tests, we show that optimal rejection rules pre-register a valid test for the case when all data is reported, and make worst-case assumptions about unreported data. Optimal tests can be found as a solution to a linear-programming problem.

University of Amsterdam, Room E5.22


  • Max Kasy (University of Oxford)


Roetersstraat 11,
1018 WB Amsterdam