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So you want to run an experiment, now what? Some simple rules of thumb for optimal experimental design

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  • John List
  • Sally Sadoff
  • Mathis Wagner

Abstract

Experimental economics represents a strong growth industry. In the past several decades the method has expanded beyond intellectual curiosity, now meriting consideration alongside the other more traditional empirical approaches used in economics. Accompanying this growth is an influx of new experimenters who are in need of straightforward direction to make their designs more powerful. This study provides several simple rules of thumb that researchers can apply to improve the efficiency of their experimental designs. We buttress these points by including empirical examples from the literature.

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File URL: http://karlan.yale.edu/fieldexperiments/papers/00094.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00094.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00094

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Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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References

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  1. John A. List, 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge Between Lab and Naturally-Occurring Data," NBER Working Papers 12992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 1, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Hahn, Jinyong & Hirano, Keisuke & Karlan, Dean, 2011. "Adaptive Experimental Design Using the Propensity Score," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 96-108.
  4. repec:feb:artefa:0090 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  7. Richard Blundell & Mónica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," CEF.UP Working Papers 0805, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  8. 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.
  9. Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet Rutstrom, 2005. "Risk attitudes, randomization to treatment, and self-selection into experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00061, The Field Experiments Website.
  10. Lenth R. V., 2001. "Some Practical Guidelines for Effective Sample Size Determination," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 55, pages 187-193, August.
  11. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2008. "Field Experiments in Economics: The Past, The Present, and The Future," NBER Working Papers 14356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rutström, E. Elisabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel T., 2009. "Stated beliefs versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 616-632, November.
  13. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2011. "Field Experiments with Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 63-82, Summer.
  2. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With A Response To Camerer," NBER Working Papers 19666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sule Alan & Ruxandra Dumitrescu & Gyongyi Loranth, 2011. "Subprime Consumer Credit Demand: Evidence from a Lender?sPricing Experiment," BCL working papers 60, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
  4. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With a Response to Commentors," CESifo Working Paper Series 4543, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Bellemare, Marc F., 2010. "As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: The Welfare Impacts of Contract Farming," MPRA Paper 23638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Goeschl, Timo & Jarke, Johannes, 2013. "Non-Strategic Punishment when Monitoring is Costly: Experimental Evidence on Differences between Second and Third Party Behavior," Working Papers 0545, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  7. Johannes Ledolter, 2013. "Economic Field Experiments: Comments on Design Efficiency, Sample Size and Statistical Power," Journal of Economics and Management, College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 9(2), pages 271-290, July.
  8. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2013. "Empowering neighbors versus imposing regulations: An experimental analysis of pollution reduction schemes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 469-484.

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