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Laboratory Strife: Higgling as Experimental Science in Economics and Social Psychology



Ce texte a été préparé pour le colloque HIGGLING: Markets and their Transactors in the History of Economic Thought, à Duke University, mars 1993. Il s'agit de l'expérimentation en laboratoire des jeux denégotiation à deux personnes, dans la théorie économique et la théorie psycho-sociale, depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale. Pour ce qui a trait à ce premier, nous examinons les premières expériences de Siegel et Fouraker, puis celles basées sur le modèle axiomatique de Nash, et enfin les approches stratégiques qui font suite au travail de Rubinstein. En ce qui a trait à la psychologie, nous examinons plusieurs expériences qui se révèlent très hétérogènes etsans base théorique aussi rigoureuse que celle de l'économie. Néanmoins, les facteurs sociaux et culturels, qui sont mis en avant dans les expériences psychologiques, se manifestent de plus en plus dans celles de l'économie. Mais, la théorie d'utilité se révèle insuffisamment souple pour l'intégration théorique de ces facteurs. This paper was prepared for a conference on Higgling: Markets and their Transactors in the History of Economic Thought, held at Duke University, March 1993. The subject is laboratory experimentation on two-person bargaining in both the economics and social psychology literatures since World War II. In the former, we look at the early experiments of Siegel and Fouraker, and those based on the axiomatic models following Nash, and the strategic approaches following Rubinstein. In the latter, we survey a range of approaches, whose very heterogeneity reflects the absence of an even relatively narrow theoretical basis. What emerges is that while the economics experiments perpetually return to the importance of those social and cultural factors that social psychology literature emphasizes, the constraints of utility-based models sharply limit the extent to which these variables can be incorporated into the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Leonard, 1993. "Laboratory Strife: Higgling as Experimental Science in Economics and Social Psychology," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9314, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:cre:uqamwp:9314
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    Cited by:

    1. Guillaume Daudin, 2006. "Paying Transaction Costs," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2006-14, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Alessandro Innocenti, 2008. "How can a psychologist inform economics? The strange case of Sidney Siegel," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0808, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.

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