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Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand

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  • Jonathan de Quidt
  • Johannes Haushofer
  • Christopher Roth

Abstract

We propose a technique for assessing robustness to demand effects of findings from experiments and surveys. The core idea is that by deliberately inducing demand in a structured way we can bound its influence. We present a model in which participants respond to their beliefs about the researcher's objectives. Bounds are obtained by manipulating those beliefs with "demand treatments." We apply the method to 11 classic tasks, and estimate bounds averaging 0.13 standard deviations, suggesting that typical demand effects are probably modest. We also show how to compute demand-robust treatment effects and how to structurally estimate the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan de Quidt & Johannes Haushofer & Christopher Roth, 2018. "Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3266-3302, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:11:p:3266-3302
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20171330
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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