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Experiments and Economic Development: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World

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  • Juan Camilo Cardenas
  • Jeffrey P. Carpenter

    ()

Abstract

Along with the traditional primitives of economic development (material preferences, technology, and endowments), there is a growing interest in exploring how psychological and sociological factores (e.g., bounded rationality, norms, or social preferences) also influence economic decisions, the evolution of institutions, and outcomes. Simultaneously, a vast literature has arisen arguing that economic experiments are important tools in identifying and quantifying the role of institutions, socialnorms and preferences on behavior and outcomes. Reflecting on our experience conducting experiments in the field over more than five years, we survey the growing literature at the intersection of these two research areas. Our review has four components. In the introduction we set the stage identifying a set of behavioral factors that seem to be central for understanding growth and economic development./ We then divide the existing literature in two piles: standard experiments conducted in the field and on how to econometrically identify sociological factors in experimental data. We conclude by suggesting topics for future research.

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File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/0505.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0505.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0505

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Keywords: experimental economics; behavioral economics; institutions; social preferences; poverty; development;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Galarza, Francisco, 2009. "Risk, Credit, and Insurance in Peru: Field Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 17833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Gurven, Michael & Zanolini, Arianna & Schniter, Eric, 2008. "Culture sometimes matters: Intra-cultural variation in pro-social behavior among Tsimane Amerindians," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 587-607, September.
  3. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2006. "Gender and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 974, The University of Melbourne.
  4. René Fahr & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2008. "Identifying personality traits to enhance trust between organisations: an experimental approach," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 469-487.
  5. Francisco Galarza & Michael Carter, 2011. "Risk Preferences and Demand for Insurance in Peru: A Field Experiment," Working Papers 11-08, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Jan 2011.
  6. Cameron, Lisa & Chaudhuri, Ananish & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata, 2009. "Propensities to engage in and punish corrupt behavior: Experimental evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 843-851, August.
  7. Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie, 2009. "The Impact of Education on the Subjective Discount Rate in Ugandan Villages," IZA Discussion Papers 4057, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. L. Cameron & A. Chaudhuri & N. Erkal & L. Gangadharan, 2005. "Do Attitudes Towards Corruption Differ Across Cultures? Experimental Evidence from Australia, India, Indonesia andSingapore," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 943, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Adeline Delavande & Basit Zafar, 2013. "Gender discrimination and social identity: experimental evidence from urban Pakistan," Staff Reports 593, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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