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Virtual reality experiments in economics

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  • Alessandro Innocenti

Abstract

The paper provides a review of research using virtual reality as a tool in experimental economics. It addresses the question of whether behavior in virtual environments is a valuable source of empirical evidence for economists. A typology of virtual reality experiments based on the difference between low-immersive (LIVE) and high-immersive virtual environments (HIVE) is offered. It is argued that virtual reality experiments are framed field experiments, which allow testing the effect of contextual cues on economic decision-making under the strict control of the experimenter. This feature enhances replicability and attenuates the context-free illusion that represents an important limitation of the standard laboratory approach in economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Innocenti, 2015. "Virtual reality experiments in economics," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 049, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:049
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    Cited by:

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    2. Gürerk, Özgür & Bönsch, Andrea & Kittsteiner, Thomas & Staffeldt, Andreas, 2019. "Virtual humans as co-workers: A novel methodology to study peer effects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 17-29.
    3. Graff, Frederik & Grund, Christian & Harbring, Christine, 2021. "Competing on the Holodeck - The effect of virtual peers and heterogeneity in dynamic tournaments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    4. Jantsje M. Mol & W. J. Wouter Botzen & Julia E. Blasch, 2022. "After the virtual flood: Risk perceptions and flood preparedness after virtual reality risk communication," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 17(1), pages 189-214, January.
    5. Di Fang & Rodolfo M. Nayga & Grant H. West & Claudia Bazzani & Wei Yang & Benjamin C. Lok & Charles E. Levy & Heather A. Snell, 2021. "On the Use of Virtual Reality in Mitigating Hypothetical Bias in Choice Experiments," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(1), pages 142-161, January.
    6. Mol, Jantsje M., 2019. "Goggles in the lab: Economic experiments in immersive virtual environments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 155-164.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    virtual reality; experimental economics; laboratory methods; virtual worlds; immersive environments.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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