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Field experiments in the developed world: an introduction

Author

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  • John List
  • Robert Metcalfe

Abstract

Field experiments represent a relatively new area in economics to understand the causal links from one variable to another. They have been used by academics to help answer interesting and policy-relevant questions in the developed world relating to educational attainment, tax avoidance, consumer finance, negative externalities, charitable giving, and labour market contracts. In this paper we bring together the key ideas behind the different variants of field experiments, how field experiments have been used to test theory, their limitations, and the new areas currently being opened up by field experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • John List & Robert Metcalfe, 2014. "Field experiments in the developed world: an introduction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00405, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00405
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    3. Aileen Heinberg & Angela Hung & Arie Kapteyn & Annamaria Lusardi & Anya Savikhin Samek & Joanne Yoong, 2014. "Five steps to planning success: experimental evidence from US households," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 697-724.
    4. Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-555, March.
    5. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    6. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With A Response To Camerer," Artefactual Field Experiments j0001, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. Angela Hung & Andrew Parker & Joanne K. Yoong, 2009. "Defining and Measuring Financial Literacy," Working Papers 708, RAND Corporation.
    8. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    9. Paul Dolan & Matteo M. Galizzi, 2014. "Getting policy-makers to listen to field experiments," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 725-752.
    10. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_instruments_randomization_learning_all_04april_2010 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    12. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    13. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Florent Bédécarrats & Isabelle Guérin & François Roubaud, 2019. "All that Glitters is not Gold. The Political Economy of Randomized Evaluations in Development," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 50(3), pages 735-762, May.
    2. Karlan, Dean & List, Jonathan A., 2012. "How Can Bill and Melinda Gates Increase Other People's Donations to Fund Public Goods?," Working Papers 101, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    3. Florent BEDECARRATS, 2017. "All That Glitters Is Not Gold: The Political Economy of Randomised Evaluations in Development," Working Paper 753120cd-506f-4c5f-80ed-7, Agence française de développement.
    4. Florent BEDECARRATS, 2017. "L'étalon-or des évaluations randomisées : économie politique des expérimentations aléatoires dans le domaine du développement," Working Paper 753120cd-506f-4c5f-80ed-7, Agence française de développement.
    5. Eric Floyd & John A. List, 2016. "Using Field Experiments in Accounting and Finance," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 437-475, May.
    6. Büchs, Milena & Bahaj, AbuBakr S. & Blunden, Luke & Bourikas, Leonidas & Falkingham, Jane & James, Patrick & Kamanda, Mamusu & Wu, Yue, 2018. "Promoting low carbon behaviours through personalised information? Long-term evaluation of a carbon calculator interview," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 284-293.
    7. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja & Sinning, Mathias, 2017. "Behavioral insights and business taxation: Evidence from two randomized controlled trials," Ruhr Economic Papers 698, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Kubo, Takahiro & Shoji, Yasushi & Tsuge, Takahiro & Kuriyama, Koichi, 2018. "Voluntary Contributions to Hiking Trail Maintenance: Evidence From a Field Experiment in a National Park, Japan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 124-128.

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