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Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?

  • Gary Charness
  • Peter J. Kuhn

This chapter surveys the contributions of laboratory experiments to labor economics. We begin with a discussion of methodological issues: why (and when) is a lab experiment the best approach; how do laboratory experiments compare to field experiments; and what are the main design issues? We then summarize the substantive contributions of laboratory experiments to our understanding of principal-agent interactions, social preferences, union-firm bargaining, arbitration, gender differentials, discrimination, job search, and labor markets more generally.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Publication status: published as “Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economist s Learn from the Lab?” (with Gary Charness), in Orley Ashenfelter and David Card, eds., Handbook of Labor Economics , volume 4 A . Amsterdam : North Holland, 2011, pp. 229 - 330.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15913
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