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Experimental Economics: Hard Science or Wasteful Tinkering

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  • Starmer, C.

Abstract

I take it that in raising the question "What have we learned from experimental economics" under the broader umbrella of "controversy" the point is not to solicit a catalogue of experimental findings, but rather to signal the more pointed question: are we learning anything at all, or at least much that is very useful form experimentation in economics. As a practising experimentalist, I am convinced that experiments do have the potential to make a significant contribution to knowledge in economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics with number 9802.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uea:papers:9802

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Postal: Norwich NR4 7TI
Phone: 44 1603 591131
Fax: +44(0)1603 4562592
Web page: http://www.uea.ac.uk/eco/
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Postal: Helen Chapman, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
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Keywords: EXPERIMENTS;

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References

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  1. Smith, Vernon L, 1989. "Theory, Experiment and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 151-69, Winter.
  2. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-54, Summer.
  3. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1992. "Are Preferences Monotonic? Testing Some Predictions of Regret Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 17-33, February.
  4. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
  5. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
  6. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  7. Reilly, Robert J, 1982. "Preference Reversal: Further Evidence and Some Suggested Modifications in Experimental Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 576-84, June.
  8. Tversky, Amos & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Anomalies: Preference Reversals," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 201-11, Spring.
  9. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1993. " Testing for Juxtaposition and Event-Splitting Effects," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-54, June.
  10. Camerer, Colin F, 1989. " An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
  11. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Preference Reversal: Information-Processing Effect or Rational Non-transitive Choice?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 140-51, Supplemen.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
  2. Emily Lancsar & Jordan Louviere, 2006. "Deleting 'irrational' responses from discrete choice experiments: a case of investigating or imposing preferences?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 797-811.
  3. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Giuseppe Fontana, 2006. "“Mr Keynes and the ‘Classics’” Again: A Methodological Enquiry," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(2), pages 161-174, June.
  5. Sadrieh, A. & Verbon, H.A.A., 2002. "Inequality, trust and growth: An experimental study," Discussion Paper 2002-84, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Francisco Alpízar & Till Requate & Albert Schram, 2004. "Collective versus Random Fining: An Experimental Study on Controlling Ambient Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(2), pages 231-252, October.
  7. Fernando San Miguel & Mandy Ryan & Mabelle Amaya-Amaya, 2005. "'Irrational' stated preferences: a quantitative and qualitative investigation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 307-322.
  8. Dorian Jullien & Nicolas Vallois, 2012. "A Probabilistic Ghost in the Experimental Machine," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-05, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  9. Tilman Slembeck, 2000. "Learning in Economics: Where Do We Stand?," Microeconomics 0004007, EconWPA.
  10. Amadou Boly, 2011. "On the incentive effects of monitoring: evidence from the lab and the field," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 241-253, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Fontana, Giuseppe & Gerrard, Bill, 2004. "A Post Keynesian theory of decision making under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 619-637, October.
  13. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2004. "¿Los experimentos pueden falsear la teoría de la utilidad esperada?," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 6(10), pages 17-45, January-J.

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