IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic Experiments That You Can Perform At Home On Your Children


  • William T. Harbaugh

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Kate Krause

    () (University of New Mexico Economics Department)


This paper describes some simple economic experiments that can be done using children as subjects. We argue that by conducting experiments on children economists can gain insight into the origins of preferences, the development of bargaining behavior and rationality, and into the origins of "irrational" behavior in adults. Most of the experiments are exploratory, and the objective is as much to learn how to conduct economic experiments on children and suggest avenues for further research as to describe specific results. Preliminary results suggest that while children are very different from adults in some ways, such as their rate of time preference, they are very similar in others, such as their bargaining and altruistic behavior. We also find that children can make choices that generally satisfy the usual transitivity test for rationality, and that in some ways they may even be more rational than adults. The paper includes protocols which can be used to replicate the experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • William T. Harbaugh & Kate Krause, 2001. "Economic Experiments That You Can Perform At Home On Your Children," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 1999-1, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 19 Mar 1999.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:1999-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:1999-1. 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: (Bill Harbaugh). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.