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Experimental Economics: Hard Science or Wasteful Tinkering

  • Starmer, C.

I take it that in raising the question "What have we learned from experimental economics" under the broader umbrella of "controversy" the point is not to solicit a catalogue of experimental findings, but rather to signal the more pointed question: are we learning anything at all, or at least much that is very useful form experimentation in economics. As a practising experimentalist, I am convinced that experiments do have the potential to make a significant contribution to knowledge in economics.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series University of East Anglia Discussion Papers in Economics with number 9802.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uea:papers:9802
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  1. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-54, Summer.
  2. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Preference Reversal: Information-Processing Effect or Rational Non-transitive Choice?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 140-51, Supplemen.
  3. Smith, Vernon L, 1989. "Theory, Experiment and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 151-69, Winter.
  4. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1993. " Testing for Juxtaposition and Event-Splitting Effects," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-54, June.
  5. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  6. Tversky, Amos & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Anomalies: Preference Reversals," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 201-11, Spring.
  7. Camerer, Colin F, 1989. " An Experimental Test of Several Generalized Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-104, April.
  8. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
  9. Reilly, Robert J, 1982. "Preference Reversal: Further Evidence and Some Suggested Modifications in Experimental Design," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 576-84, June.
  10. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
  11. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1992. "Are Preferences Monotonic? Testing Some Predictions of Regret Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 17-33, February.
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