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Economics in the Laboratory

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  • Vernon L. Smith

Abstract

The questions addressed in this paper include: What is a laboratory experiment? What are the reasons why economists conduct such experiments? What have we learned? Among the many findings of experiments are included: institutions (the rules of exchange) matter; optimization in markets is not achieved by conscious calculation; less information is sometimes better; common information is not sufficient to yield common 'knowledge' or expectations; underrevelation is compatible with efficiency; and fairness is a matter of tastes or expectations. Also discussed is the methodological role of experiments in contributing to our knowledge of how things work.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.1.113
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 8 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 113-131

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:8:y:1994:i:1:p:113-31

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.1.113
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  1. Jamie L. Brown-Kruse, 1991. "Contestability in the Presence of an Alternate Market: An Experimental Examination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(1), pages 136-147, Spring.
  2. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
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