Open Access
August 2022 Power Calculations for Replication Studies
Charlotte Micheloud, Leonhard Held
Author Affiliations +
Statist. Sci. 37(3): 369-379 (August 2022). DOI: 10.1214/21-STS828


The reproducibility crisis has led to an increasing number of replication studies being conducted. Sample sizes for replication studies are often calculated using conditional power based on the effect estimate from the original study. However, this approach is not well suited as it ignores the uncertainty of the original result. Bayesian methods are used in clinical trials to incorporate prior information into power calculations. We propose to adapt this methodology to the replication framework and promote the use of predictive instead of conditional power in the design of replication studies. Moreover, we describe how extensions of the methodology to sequential clinical trials can be tailored to replication studies. Conditional and predictive power calculated at an interim analysis are compared and we argue that predictive power is a useful tool to decide whether to stop a replication study prematurely. A recent project on the replicability of social sciences is used to illustrate the properties of the different methods.

Funding Statement

This work was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (project 189295).


We thank Samuel Pawel, Małgorzata Roos and Lawrence L. Kupper for helpful comments and suggestions on this manuscript. We also would like to thank the referees whose comments helped to improve and clarify the manuscript.


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Charlotte Micheloud. Leonhard Held. "Power Calculations for Replication Studies." Statist. Sci. 37 (3) 369 - 379, August 2022.


Published: August 2022
First available in Project Euclid: 21 June 2022

MathSciNet: MR4444372
zbMATH: 07569966
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/21-STS828

Keywords: conditional power , futility stopping , interim analysis , predictive power , replication studies , sequential design

Rights: Copyright © 2022 Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Vol.37 • No. 3 • August 2022
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