In case you missed it, Daniel Kahneman has issued a warning to social psychologists, whose field has been rocked recently by a series of exposures of high-level scientific fraud and falsification by several social psychologists. All of them work in the same general field. One thing I wondered reading the story is whether it is typical for these sorts of “fraud clusters” to emerge in certain fields as opposed to just isolated rogue researchers. Does anyone know?
As for law, I’m wondering whether the scandal has any serious implications for behavioral law and economics. A quick Westlaw search of the JLR database reveals that the three researchers noted in the article (Diederik Stapel, Dirk Smeesters and Lawrence Sanna) have been cited by name 32 times in law review articles, primarily behavioral law and economics articles (this excludes any cites, if they exist, where their names are not explicitly cited, such as being part of an “et al.” author cite). Sanna is cited most frequently in Westlaw (24 cites) and Stapel is cited 16 times. I’m not aware of any specific arguments in behavioral law and economics that depend strongly on the findings of these particular authors.
These issues of scientific misconduct leave aside, of course, the types of questions of replication of results raised by Kathy Zeiler and Charles Plott (here and here) for issues such as the endowment effect. The challenge there is not a claim of fraud but rather the effects of experimental design.
Nature also has an interesting interview with Uri Simohnson, the fellow who exposed Smeesters and Sanna. Courageous guy. He says he has identified a 4th suspect.