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

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  • Eckel, Catherine
  • Gintis, Herbert

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckel, Catherine & Gintis, Herbert, 2010. "Blaming the messenger: Notes on the current state of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 109-119, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:1:p:109-119
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