The observation of naturally occuring events does not allow a careful isolation of the relevant factors that affect those events, nor to measure precisely their relative importance. Furthermore, some situations are hardly observable, either because they correspond to very rare events in space and time, or because they require a particular combination of factors. Finally, some economic situations cannot be observed without the practical implementation of some policy instrument. Experimental tools have been developed by economists, in order to overcome some of the difficulties of observing naturally occurring events.In a typical experiment, an artificial environment is created, reflecting either the conditions described by economic theory or some hypothetical situation. Therefore economic experiments can be designed to address three types of issues:
- theory testing, by providing relevant data,
- decision aid, by evaluating the impact of various instruments (e.g. a public policy or a firm strategy), without exposing the individuals or groups concerned by those instruments to the potential costs or risks of a real in-situ implementation,
- provide new insights and knowledge about situations for which theory is lacking or incomplete.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Experimental Economics
- Smith, V., 1994. “Economics in the Laboratory”. Journal of Economic Perspectives 8(1), 113-131
- Smith, V., 1982. “Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science”. American Economic Review 72(5), 923-955
Room 216 (2nd floor)
Faculté des Sciences Economiques
Espace Richter – Avenue de la Mer
34960 MONTPELLIER cedex 2
Tramway: line 1, line 3 or line 4
Get off at Rives du Lez and cross over the gate above the Lez.
Researchers, faculty and doctoral students in economics study individual and group behaviour in various economic environments. They are involved in national and international research projects.
The research team relies strongly on laboratory experimentation to carry out those projetcs. For running experiments we need volunteers which are paid for their participation in experimental sessions. The payment rules differ according to the type of experiment. However, on average participants earn between 5 and 25 Euros for a typical session (about 1:30 mn duration).
No knowledge in economics is required to participate in our experiments. Everybody can apply to become a participant.
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