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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, et al, 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. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
    15. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    16. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
    17. 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.
    18. repec:feb:artefa:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. 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.
    20. Peter Bohm, 1972. "Estimating the demand for public goods: An experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00126, The Field Experiments Website.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:236-252 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With A Response To Camerer," NBER Working Papers 19666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sebastian J. Goerg & John P. Lightle & Dmitry Ryvkin, 2016. "Priming The Charitable Pump: An Experimental Investigation Of Two-Stage Raffles," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 508-519, January.
    4. Swallow, Stephen K. & Anderson, Christopher M. & Uchida, Emi, 2018. "The Bobolink Project: Selling Public Goods From Ecosystem Services Using Provision Point Mechanisms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 236-252.
    5. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Matthews, Peter Hans, 2015. "Incentives and the Design of Charitable Fundraisers: Lessons from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 8952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Baker, Ronald J. & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 2011. "An exploration of the robustness of alternative laboratory methodologies: Matching funds and the provision of public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 763-774.
    7. Spencer, Michael A. & Swallow, Stephen K. & Shogren, Jason F. & List, John A., 2009. "Rebate rules in threshold public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 798-806, June.
    8. Alpízar, Francisco & Martinsson, Peter, 2010. "Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Tell Me Who to Follow! - Field Experiment Evidence on Voluntary Donations," Working Papers in Economics 452, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Matteo M. Galizzi & Daniel Navarro Martinez, 2015. "On the external validity of social-preference games: A systematic lab-field study," Economics Working Papers 1462, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    10. Martinsson, Peter & Myrseth, Kristian Ove R. & Wollbrant, Conny, 2010. "Conditional Cooperation: Evidence for the Role of Self-Control," Working Papers in Economics 459, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:eee:pubeco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:30-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hannes Koppel & Günther G. Schulze, 2009. "On the Channels of Pro-Social Behavior Evidence from a natural field experiment," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-102, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    13. Achim Schlueter & Roger Madrigal, 2012. "The SES Framework in a Marine Setting: Methodological Settings," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 3(60), November.
    14. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9498-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ola Andersson & Topi Miettinen & Kaisa Hytönen & Magnus Johannesson & Ute Stephan, 2017. "Subliminal influence on generosity," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 531-555, September.
    16. Verhaert, Griet A. & Van den Poel, Dirk, 2011. "Empathy as added value in predicting donation behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(12), pages 1288-1295.
    17. G. A. Verhaert & D. Van Den Poel, 2012. "The Role of Seed Money and Threshold Size in Optimizing Fundraising Campaigns: Past Behavior Matters!," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/815, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    18. Schröder, Marina & Lüer, Annemarie & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2015. "Pay-what-you-want or mark-off-your-own-price – A framing effect in customer-selected pricing," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 200-204.
    19. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With a Response to Commentors," CESifo Working Paper Series 4543, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Navarro-Martínez, Daniel, 2018. "On the external validity of social preference games: a systematic lab-field study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    21. Liberali, G. & Urban, G.L. & Dellaert, B.G.C. & Tucker, C. & Bart, Y. & Stremersch, S., 2016. "A New Method of Measuring Online Media Advertising Effectiveness: Prospective Meta-Analysis in Marketing," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2016-007-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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    JEL classification:

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

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