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Introduction to field experiments in economics with applications to the economics of charity

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  • John List

Abstract

This special issue highlights an empirical approach that has increasingly grown in prominence in the last decade--field experiments. While field experiments can be used quite generally in economics to test theories' predictions, to measure key parameters, and to provide insights into the generalizability of empirical results, this special issue focuses on using field experiments to explore questions within the economics of charity. The issue contains six distinct field experimental studies that investigate various aspects associated with the economics of charitable giving. The issue also includes a fitting tribute to one of the earliest experimenters to depart from traditional lab methods, Peter Bohm, who curiously has not received deep credit or broad acclaim. Hopefully this issue will begin to rectify this oversight.

Suggested Citation

  • John List, 2008. "Introduction to field experiments in economics with applications to the economics of charity," Artefactual Field Experiments 00085, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00085
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bohm, Peter, 1972. "Estimating demand for public goods: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 111-130.
    2. Francisco Alpizar & Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2008. "Does context matter more for hypothetical than for actual contributions? Evidence from a natural field experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 299-314, September.
    3. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2006. "Toward an Understanding of the Economics of Charity: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 747-782.
    4. John A. List & David Lucking-Reiley, 2002. "The Effects of Seed Money and Refunds on Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from a University Capital Campaign," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 215-233, February.
    5. Jeff Carpenter & Glenn Harrison & John List, 2005. "Field experiments in economics: An introduction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00034, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Cummings, Ronald G & Elliott, Steven & Harrison, Glenn W & Murphy, James, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-621, June.
    9. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2007. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1774-1793, December.
    10. Jeffrey Carpenter & Cristina Connolly & Caitlin Myers, 2008. "Altruistic behavior in a representative dictator experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 282-298, September.
    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. Douglas Davis & Edward Millner & Robert Reilly, 2005. "Subsidy Schemes and Charitable Contributions: A Closer Look," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 85-106, June.
    13. Rachel Croson & Jen Shang, 2008. "The impact of downward social information on contribution decisions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(3), pages 221-233, September.
    14. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    15. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Full title Does Context Matter More for Hypothetical Than for Actual Contributions? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Discussion Papers dp-08-02-efd, Resources For the Future.
    16. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
    17. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    18. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. d'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
    19. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behavior: Testing "Conditional Cooperation" in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1717-1722, December.
    20. John A. List, 2004. "Young, Selfish and Male: Field evidence of social preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 121-149, January.
    21. repec:feb:artefa:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2003. "Rebate versus matching: does how we subsidize charitable contributions matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 681-701, March.
    23. Peter Bohm, 1972. "Estimating the demand for public goods: An experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00126, The Field Experiments Website.
    24. Armin Falk, 2007. "Gift Exchange in the Field," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1501-1511, September.
    25. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    26. John A. List & Robert P. Berrens & Alok K. Bohara & Joe Kerkvliet, 2004. "Examining the Role of Social Isolation on Stated Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 741-752, June.
    27. James Andreoni & Abigail Payne, 2007. "Crowding out Both Sides of the Philanthropy Market: Evidence from a Panel of Charities," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001769, UCLA Department of Economics.
    28. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    29. Bruno Frey & Stephan Meier, 2004. "In a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00243, The Field Experiments Website.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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