Experiments in economics: should we trust the dismal scientists in white coats?
Is the rapid growth of experimental research in economics evidence of a new scientific spirit at work or merely fresh evidence of a misplaced desire to ape the methods of natural sciences? It is often argued that economic experiments are artificial in some sense that tends to render the results problematic or uninteresting. In the early part of this paper I argue that this artificiality critique does not provide a convincing philosophical objection to experimentation in economics. Later sections of the paper argue that methodological discourse in relation to experiments has become somewhat polarized: experimentalists have promoted a position that seeks to defuse objections to experiments; theorists have taken up positions that insulate theory from experimental challenge. I argue that these strategies are overly defensive and tend to stifle rather than promote the goals of economic enquiry.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RJEC20|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Davis, Douglas D. & Holt, Charles a., 1993. "Experimental economics: Methods, problems and promise," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 8(2), pages 179-212.
- Friedman,Daniel & Sunder,Shyam, 1994. "Experimental Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521456821, August.
- Leamer, Edward E, 1983.
"Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 31-43, March.
- Edward E. Leamer, 1982. "Let's Take the Con Out of Econometrics," UCLA Economics Working Papers 239, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Bohm, Peter, 1994. "Behaviour under Uncertainty without Preference Reversal: A Field Experiment," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 185-200.
- Jan Kmenta & James B. Ramsey, 1980. "Problems and Issues in Evaluating Econometric Models," NBER Chapters,in: Evaluation of Econometric Models, pages 1-11 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John H. Kagel & Raymond C. Battalio, 1980. "Token Economy and Animal Models for the Experimental Analysis of Economic Behavior," NBER Chapters,in: Evaluation of Econometric Models, pages 379-401 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Adrian C. Darnell & J. L. Evans, 1990. "The Limits of Econometrics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 119.
- Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-638, September.
- Grether, David M. & Plott, Charles R., "undated". "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," Working Papers 152, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Frank P. Stafford, 1980. "Some Comments on the Papers by Kagel and Battalio and by Smith," NBER Chapters,in: Evaluation of Econometric Models, pages 407-410 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mayer, Thomas, 1980. "Economics as a Hard Science: Realistic Goal or Wishful Thinking?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 165-178, April.
- Harrison, Glenn W, 1994. "Expected Utility Theory and the Experimentalists," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 223-253.
- Peter Bohm, 1994. "Behavior under uncertainty without preference reversal: A field experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00130, The Field Experiments Website.
- Jan Kmenta & James B. Ramsey, 1980. "Evaluation of Econometric Models," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kmen80-1, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:6:y:1999:i:1:p:1-30. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.