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The role of experiments for the development of economic theories

  • Schmidt, Klaus M.

Economic experiments interact with economic theories in various ways. First of all they are used to test economic theories. However, they can neither confirm nor falsify them in a strict sense. They rather inform us about the range of applicability, the robustness and the predictive power of a theory. Furthermore, economic experiments discover and isolate phenomena and challenge economic theorists to explain them. Finally, many economic experiments are material models. They are used to analyze and predict how changes in the environment affect economic outcomes. However, they cannot offer an explanation for what we observe. This has to be provided by economic theory.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19767.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik Suppl. 1 10(2009): pp. 14-30
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19767
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  1. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 111.
  2. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  3. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2005. "The Behavioural Effects of Minimum Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 5115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521618618 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Georg Kirchsteiger & Ernst Fehr & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Engelmann Dirk & Strobel Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  9. Holt, Charles A & Langan, Loren W & Villamil, Anne P, 1986. "Market Power in Oral Double Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 107-23, January.
  10. Dufwenberg, Martin & Heidhues, Paul & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedel, Frank & Sobel, Joel, 2008. "Other-Regarding Preferences in General Equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 6815, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  12. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Fehr, Ernst & Klein, Alexander & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2007. "Fairness and contract design," Munich Reprints in Economics 20618, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-51, September.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521853408 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Pezanis-Christou, Paul & Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Selten, Reinhard, 2005. "An experimental test of design alternatives for the British 3G/UMTS auction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 505-530, February.
  18. Uskali Maki, 2005. "Models are experiments, experiments are models," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 303-315.
  19. Mary Morgan, 2005. "Experiments versus models: New phenomena, inference and surprise," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 317-329.
  20. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  21. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
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