IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world

  • Jeffery Carpenter


  • Juan Camilo Cardenas

Explanations of poverty, growth and development more generally depend on the assumptions made about individual preferences and the willingness to engage in strategic behaviour. Economic experiments, especially those conducted in the field, have begun to paint a picture of economic agents in developing communities that is at some variance from the traditional portrait. We review this growing literature with an eye towards preference-related experiments conducted in the field. We rely on these studies, in addition to our own experiences in the field, to offer lessons on what development economists might learn from experiments. We conclude by sharing our thoughts on how to conduct experiments in the field, and then offer a few ideas for future research.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 0616.

in new window

Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0616
Contact details of provider:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Erika Seki, 2011. "Do Social Preferences Increase Productivity? Field Experimental Evidence From Fishermen In Toyama Bay," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 612-630, 04.
  2. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Risk Pooling, Commitment, and Information: An experimental test of two fundamental assumptions," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. John A. List, 2004. "Young, Selfish and Male: Field evidence of social preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 121-149, 01.
  4. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  5. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
  6. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 0036, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion As A Predictor Of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence From Peru," Departmental Working Papers 2007-04, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  9. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 182, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  11. Maria Alejandra Vélez & John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy, 2005. "What Motivates Common Pool Resource Users? Experimental Evidence from the Field," Working Papers 2005-4, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  12. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  13. Danielson, Anders & Holm, Hakan, 2004. "Do You Trust Your Brethren? Eliciting Trust Attitudes and Trust Behavior in a Tanzanian Congregation," Working Papers 2004:2, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  14. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  15. Hirschman, Albert O, 1982. "Rival Interpretations of Market Society: Civilizing, Destructive, or Feeble?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1463-84, December.
  16. Abigail Barr, 2001. "Social Dilennas and shame - based Sanctions: Experimental results from rural Zimbabwe," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2002. "Economic inequality and burden-sharing in the provision of local environmental quality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 379-395, March.
  18. Cameron, Lisa A, 1999. "Raising the Stakes in the Ultimatum Game: Experimental Evidence from Indonesia," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 47-59, January.
  19. Javier Escobal & Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2006. "Risk preference, ambiguity aversion and technology choice: Experimental and survey evidence from rural peru," Artefactual Field Experiments 00042, The Field Experiments Website.
  20. Cardenas, Juan Camilo & Stranlund, John & Willis, Cleve, 2000. "Local Environmental Control and Institutional Crowding-Out," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1719-1733, October.
  21. Paul Mosley & Arjan Verschoor, 2005. "The development of trust and social capital in rural Uganda: An experimental approach," Working Papers 2005011, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  22. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  23. Moseley, William G., 2001. "African evidence on the relation of poverty, time preference and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 317-326, September.
  24. Durlauf,S.N., 2001. "On the empirics of social capital," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  25. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-398, July.
  26. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  27. Armin Falk & David Huffman & Gert Wagner & Jurgen Schupp & Thomas Dohmen & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Individual risk attitudes: New evidence from a large, representative, experimentally-validated survey," Framed Field Experiments 00140, The Field Experiments Website.
  28. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
  29. List, John A. & Reiley, David, 2008. "Field Experiments in Economics: Palgrave Entry," IZA Discussion Papers 3273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Gowdy, John & Iorgulescu, Raluca & Onyeiwu, Stephen, 2003. "Fairness and retaliation in a rural Nigerian village," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 469-479, December.
  31. Amrita Daniere & Jeff Carpenter & Lois Takahashi, 2004. "Cooperation, trust, and social capital in southeast asian urban slums," Artefactual Field Experiments 00035, The Field Experiments Website.
  32. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
  33. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  34. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
  35. Abigail Barr & Bill Kinsey, 2002. "Do men really have no shame?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  36. Carter, Michael R. & Castillo, Marco, 2003. "An Experimental Approach to Social Capital in South Africa," Staff Paper Series 448, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  37. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  38. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  39. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  40. David Reiley & John List, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  41. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
  42. Jeffrey Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2011. "An Intercultural Examination of Cooperation in the Commons," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(4), pages 632-651, August.
  43. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, 07.
  44. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
  45. Kirby, Kris N. & Godoy, Ricardo & Reyes-Garcia, Victoria & Byron, Elizabeth & Apaza, Lilian & Leonard, William & Perez, Eddy & Vadez, Vincent & Wilkie, David, 2002. "Correlates of delay-discount rates: Evidence from Tsimane' Amerindians of the Bolivian rain forest," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 291-316, June.
  46. Ernst Fehr & John A. List, 2004. "The Hidden Costs and Returns of Incentives-Trust and Trustworthiness Among CEOs," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 743-771, 09.
  47. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
  48. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Burks, Stephen V. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2004. "Comparing Students to Workers: The Effects of Social Framing on Behavior in Distribution Games," IZA Discussion Papers 1341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  49. Lazzarini, S. G. & Madalozzo, R. C & Artes, R. & Siqueira, J. O., 2004. "Measuring trust: An experiment in Brazil," Insper Working Papers wpe_42, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  50. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
  51. Danielson, Anders & Holm, Hakan J, 2002. "Trust in the Tropics? Experimental Evidence from Tanzania," Working Papers 2002:12, Lund University, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0616. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vijaya Wunnava)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.