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Blaming the messenger: Notes on the current state of experimental economics

  • Eckel, Catherine
  • Gintis, Herbert

Binmore and Shaked (this issue) criticize Fehr and Schmidt's (1999) model of inequality aversion. We present a considerable body of experimental research supporting the inequality aversion motive. Binmore and Shaked also urge experimentalists to adopt "a more skeptical attitude when far-reaching claims about human behavior are extrapolated from very slender data." It is true that experimental findings indicate that the standard neoclassical model fails to predict a considerable range of strategic behaviors widely observed in the laboratory, particularly under conditions where normative behavior is prevalent in every-day social life. This is indeed a "far-reaching claim," but one amply justified by an impressive and constantly growing body of evidence from experiments.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 73 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 109-119

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:1:p:109-119
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