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Experiments and the domain of economic theory

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  • Robin Cubitt

Abstract

This paper distinguishes the base domain of an economic theory (in which predictions are relatively unambiguous) from, respectively, the domains of intended application and of legitimate testing; it argues that the domain of legitimate testing is not generally restricted to that of intended application; and discusses the obligations on researchers imposed by a position that presumes experimental environments in the base domain of a theory to provide legitimate test, unless there is compelling reason to expect behaviour in the domain of intended application to conform more closely to the theory. Experimental tests of choice theory are discussed as an example.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 197-210

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:2:p:197-210

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Keywords: experiments; domain of economic theory; theory-testing;

References

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  1. Camerer, Colin F & Hogarth, Robin M, 1999. "The Effects of Financial Incentives in Experiments: A Review and Capital-Labor-Production Framework," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 7-42, December.
  2. Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
  3. Robin Cubitt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2001. "Discovered preferences and the experimental evidence of violations of expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 385-414.
  4. Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-79, May.
  5. Starmer, C., 1998. "Experiments in Economics...(Should We Trust the Dismal Scientists In White Coats?)," University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics 9801, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  6. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  7. Graham Loomes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2003. "Do Anomalies Disappear in Repeated Markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C153-C166, March.
  8. Gijs Kuilen & Peter Wakker, 2006. "Learning in the Allais paradox," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 155-164, December.
  9. David M. Grether & James C. Cox, 1996. "The preference reversal phenomenon: Response mode, markets and incentives (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 381-405.
  10. Loewenstein, George, 1999. "Experimental Economics from the Vantage-Point of Behavioural Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F23-34, February.
  11. Jacinto Braga & Chris Starmer, 2005. "Preference Anomalies, Preference Elicitation and the Discovered Preference Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 55-89, 09.
  12. Cubitt, Robin P. & Sugden, Robert, 2001. "On Money Pumps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-160, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Hildenbrand, Andreas, 2010. "Cournot or Stackelberg competition? A survey on experimental evidence," MPRA Paper 24468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Nicholas Bardsley, 2010. "Sociality and external validity in experimental economics," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 9(2), pages 119-138, December.
  3. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Kroll, Eike Benjamin & Vogt, Bodo, 2012. "The relevance of irrelevant alternatives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 435-437.

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