Implementing theoretical models in the laboratory, and what this can and cannot achieve
AbstractWe investigate the methodology used in a significant genre of experimental economics, in which experiments are designed to test theoretical models by implementing them in the laboratory. Using two case studies, we argue that such an experiment is a test, not of what the model says about its target domain, but of generic theoretical components used in the model. The properties that make a model interesting as a putative explanation of phenomena in its target domain are not necessarily appropriate for such tests. We consider how this research strategy has been legitimised within the community of experimental economists.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) with number 11-08.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Postal: Helen Chapman, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Other versions of this item:
- Stefania Sitzia & Robert Sugden, 2011. "Implementing theoretical models in the laboratory, and what this can and cannot achieve," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 323-343, December.
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
- C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
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