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Experimental economics and the artificiality of alteration

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  • Nicholas Bardsley

Abstract

A neglected critique of social science laboratories alleges that they implement phenomena different to those supposedly under investigation. The critique purports to be conceptual and so invulnerable to a technical solution. I argue that it undermines some economics designs seeking to implement features of real societies, and counsels more modesty in experimental write-ups. It also constitutes a plausible argument that laboratory economics experiments are necessarily less demonstrative than natural scientific ones. More radical sceptical conclusions are unwarranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Bardsley, 2005. "Experimental economics and the artificiality of alteration," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 239-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:2:p:239-251
    DOI: 10.1080/13501780500086115
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anett Wins & Bernhard Zwergel, 2016. "Comparing those who do, might and will not invest in sustainable funds: a survey among German retail fund investors," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 9(1), pages 51-99, April.
    2. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. Abigail Barr & Danila Serra, 2009. "The effects of externalities and framing on bribery in a petty corruption experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(4), pages 488-503, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Rosenboim, Mosi & Shavit, Tal & Cohen, Chen, 2013. "Do bidders require a monetary premium for cognitive effort in an auction?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 99-105.
    7. Jana Cahlikova, 2015. "Study Abroad Experience and Attitudes Towards Other Nationalities," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp556, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    8. Ohana, Marc, 2009. "La réciprocité sur le marché du travail : les limites du laboratoire," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 85(2), pages 239-256, juin.
    9. 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.
    10. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, "undated". "Do People Behave in Experiments as in the Field? � Evidence from Donations," IEW - Working Papers 248, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Matthias Benz & Stephan Meier, 2008. "Do people behave in experiments as in the field?—evidence from donations," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 268-281, September.
    12. repec:spr:grdene:v:22:y:2013:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-012-9295-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Paul Dolan & Matteo M. Galizzi, 2014. "Because I'm Worth It: A Lab-Field Experiment on the Spillover Effects of Incentives in Health," CEP Discussion Papers dp1286, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    14. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2013. "Claims and confounds in economic experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 186-195.
    15. Ana C. Santos, 2011. "Experimental Economics," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Recent Economic Methodology, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.

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    Keywords

    artificiality; experiments;

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