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Self-interest, Social Wealth, and Competition as a Discovery Procedure

Author

Listed:
  • Roland Kirstein

    (University of Saarland)

  • Dieter Schmidtchen

    (Universität des Saarlandes)

Abstract

In Economics, as in any social science, empirical tests of theoretical results face a problem: researchers are unable to reproduce the whole economy (or at least its relevant parts) in their laboratories. Nowadays, Experimental Economics uses stylized experiments, drawing on the experience of Psychology, to test at least the basic assumptions of the economic theory of human behavior. Even classroom experiments may serve this purpose. This paper describes a simple classroom experiment that serves as an empirical test of Adam Smith's invisible- hand hypothesis. Furthermore, it demonstrates to the students that competition acts as a discovery procedure. The experiment is of high didactical value, since the students gain insights into empirical research and experience how markets work.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Kirstein & Dieter Schmidtchen, "undated". "Self-interest, Social Wealth, and Competition as a Discovery Procedure," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2004-1-1083, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  • Handle: RePEc:bep:dewple:2004-1-1083
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    File URL: http://www.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1083&context=gwp
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smith,Vernon L., 2005. "Bargaining and Market Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521021487.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hayek-Hypothesis; Efficiency; Double Oral Auctions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General

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