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Experimental Economics: Hard Science or Wasteful Tinkering?

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  • Starmer, Chris

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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  • Starmer, Chris, 1999. "Experimental Economics: Hard Science or Wasteful Tinkering?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 5-15, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:109:y:1999:i:453:p:f5-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1993. "Testing for Juxtaposition and Event-Splitting Effects," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-254, June.
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    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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 576-584, June.
    10. 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.
    11. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 251-278, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Etchart-Vincent, Nathalie, 2007. "Expérimentation de laboratoire et économie : contre quelques idées reçues et faux problèmes," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 83(1), pages 91-116, mars.
    4. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro Martinez, 2015. "On the external validity of social-preference games: A systematic lab-field study," Economics Working Papers 1462, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Amadou Boly, 2011. "On the incentive effects of monitoring: evidence from the lab and the field," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 241-253, May.
    9. Julius Pahlke & Sebastian Strasser & Ferdinand Vieider, 2015. "Responsibility effects in decision making under risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 125-146, October.
    10. 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.
    11. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Navarro-Martínez, Daniel, 2018. "On the external validity of social preference games: a systematic lab-field study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Giuseppe Fontana, 2006. "“Mr Keynes and the ‘Classics’” Again: A Methodological Enquiry," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(2), pages 161-174, June.
    13. Reise, Christian & Musshoff, Oliver & Granoszewski, Karol & Spiller, Achim, 2012. "Which factors influence the expansion of bioenergy? An empirical study of the investment behaviours of German farmers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 133-141.
    14. 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.
    15. Francisco Alpízar & Till Requate & Albert Schram, 2004. "Collective versus Random Fining: An Experimental Study on Controlling Ambient Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(2), pages 231-252, October.
    16. Sadrieh, A. & Verbon, H.A.A., 2002. "Inequality, trust and growth : An experimental study," Discussion Paper 2002-84, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. 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.
    18. Tilman Slembeck, 2000. "Learning in Economics: Where Do We Stand?," Microeconomics 0004007, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C99 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Other

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