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Session Effects in the Laboratory

  • Guillaume R. Fréchette

In experimental economics, where subjects participate in different sessions, observations across subjects of a given session might exhibit more correlation than observations across subjects in different sessions. The problem of session effects is related to similar problems in many experimental and non-experimental fields. This paper attempts to clarify what the issues are and proposes a set of practical tests to identify the problem as well as ways to test for treatment effects in the presence of session-effects. Simulations are used to assess how these tests perform given the relatively small samples typical of experimental data sets. En économie expérimentale où les sujets participent à différentes sessions, les observations peuvent être plus corrélées à l'intérieur d'une même session qu'entre les participants ayant participé à différentes sessions. Ce type d'effet est présent également dans plusieurs autres domaines, autant expérimentaux que non-expérimentaux. Cette étude tente de mettre en lumière quelles sont les sources du problème et propose un ensemble de tests pour déterminer s'il y a ou non présence de corrélation intra-session dans une collecte de données, et pour identifier l'effet d'un traitement lorsque ce problème est présent. Des simulations ont été effectuées pour évaluer la performance de ces tests sur des échantillons avec peu d'observations, ce qui est commun lors de la collecte de données de type expérimental.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2006s-21.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2006s-21
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