The Duhem-Quine thesis and experimental economics. A reinterpretation
The Duhem-Quine thesis asserts that any empirical evaluation of a theory is in fact a composite test of several interconnected hypotheses. Recalcitrant evidence signals falsity within the conjunction of hypotheses, but logic alone cannot pinpoint the individual element(s) inside the theoretical cluster responsible for a false prediction. This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis for experimental economics. A starting point is to detail how laboratory evaluations of economic hypotheses constitute composite tests. Another aim is to scrutinize the strategy of conducting a series of experiments in order to hem in the source(s) of disconfirmative evidence. A Bayesian approach is employed to argue that reproducing experiments is not necessarily useful in terms of identifying correct causes of recalcitrant data.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O.Box 8131 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway|
Phone: (+47) 21 09 00 00
Fax: +47 - 62 88 55 95
Web page: http://www.ssb.no/en/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
- Roth, Alvin E, 1994. "Lets Keep the Con out of Experimental Econ.: A Methodological Note," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 279-89.
- Chris Starmer, 1999.
"Experiments in economics: should we trust the dismal scientists in white coats?,"
Journal of Economic Methodology,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30.
- Chris Starmer, . "Experiments in Economics ... (should we trust the dismal scientists in white coats?)," University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics _002, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
- Starmer, C., 1998. "Experiments in Economics...(Should We Trust the Dismal Scientists In White Coats?)," University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics 9801, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
- Binmore, Ken, 1999. "Why Experiment in Economics?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F16-24, February.
- Smith, Vernon L, 1989. "Theory, Experiment and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 151-69, Winter.
- Cross, Rodney, 1982. "The Duhem-Quine Thesis, Lakatos and the Appraisal of Theories in Macroeconomics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 320-40, June.
- Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
- Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521425230, November.
- Hausman,Daniel M., 1992. "The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521415019, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:329. 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: (L MaasÃ¸)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.