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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Schirle, Tammy / de Vries, Frans / Zulehner, Christine

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.252
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.755

CiteScore 2016: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.330
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.526

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1935-1682
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Volume 5, Issue 2 (Apr 2007)

Issues

Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data

John A. List
Published Online: 2007-04-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0637.1747

Abstract

Laboratory experiments have been used extensively in economics in the past several decades to lend both positive and normative insights into a myriad of important economic issues. This study discusses a related approach that has increasingly grown in prominence of late—field experiments. I argue that field experiments serve as a useful bridge between data generated in the lab and empirical studies using naturally-occurring data. In discussing this relationship, I highlight that field experiments can yield important insights into economic theory and provide useful guidance to policymakers. I also draw attention to an important methodological contribution of field experiments: they provide an empirical account of behavioral principles that are shared across different domains. In this regard, at odds with conventional wisdom, I argue that representativeness of the environment, rather than representative of the sampled population, is the most crucial variable in determining generalizability of results for a large class of experimental laboratory games.

Keywords: laboratory experiment; field experiment; generalizability; representativeness of environment

About the article

Published Online: 2007-04-03


Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, ISSN (Online) 1538-0637, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1538-0637.1747.

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