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Field experiments in the developed world: an introduction

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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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    1. Steffen Huck & Imran Rasul & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Comparing Charitable Fundraising Schemes: Evidence from a Field Experiment and a Structural Model," Working Papers 1381, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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    3. 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.
    4. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
    5. 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.
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    15. Craig E. Landry & Andreas Lange & John A. List & Michael K. Price & Nicholas G. Rupp, 2010. "Is a Donor in Hand Better Than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 958-983, June.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
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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. Florent BEDECARRATS & Isabelle GUERIN & François ROUBAUD, 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.
    3. Karlan, Dean & List, John A., 2020. "How can Bill and Melinda Gates increase other people's donations to fund public goods?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Biddle, Nicholas & Fels, Katja M. & Sinning, Mathias, 2018. "Behavioral insights on business taxation: Evidence from two natural field experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 30-49.
    7. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Delfino, Alexia, 2021. "Breaking Gender Barriers: Experimental Evidence on Men in Pink-Collar Jobs," IZA Discussion Papers 14083, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. 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.
    10. J. Nicolas Hernandez-Aguilera & Max Mauerman & Alexandra Herrera & Kathryn Vasilaky & Walter Baethgen & Ana Maria Loboguerrero & Rahel Diro & Yohana Tesfamariam Tekeste & Daniel Osgood, 2020. "Games and Fieldwork in Agriculture: A Systematic Review of the 21st Century in Economics and Social Science," Games, MDPI, vol. 11(4), pages 1-22, October.
    11. 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.

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