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About this book

This textbook provides a hands-on and intuitive overview of the methodological foundations of experimental economics. Experimental economic research has been an integral part of economic science for quite some time and is gaining more and more attention in related disciplines.
The book addresses the design and execution of experiments, the evaluation of experimental data and the equipment of an experimental laboratory. It illustrates the challenges involved in designing and conducting experiments and helps the reader to address them in practice.

Table of Contents


1. The Study of Behavior

In this first part of the book we are, in a sense, preparing the stage for what comes later. Experiments have only been part of the economic tools of the trade for a relatively short time and it is important to understand how this instrument fits into the economic toolbox. The explanations on the history of the subject are helpful, but can be skipped by readers who are only interested in the methodological aspects.
The excursions into the history of the subject, in Chaps. 2 and 3, serve to explain how behavioral economics could emerge despite the long dominance of normative theory and why both should be understood as complementary parts. Chapter 5 deals with the external validity of experiments. This refers to the question of whether experimental findings can be transferred to the real world or not.
Joachim Weimann, Jeannette Brosig-Koch

2. Methodological Foundations

Now that we have prepared the stage for experimental economics in the first chapter, the second chapter deals with the methodological foundations. The times are long gone when economists “just did an experiment” to see what happens when you let subjects play games. In the meantime, methodological standards and procedures have evolved. Following these procedures is an important prerequisite for obtaining experimental results that can claim to meet the scientific standards of the economics profession. We have put the most important methodological fundamentals into groups, each of which is based on one component of an experiment.
Joachim Weimann, Jeannette Brosig-Koch

3. Experimental Practice

In this part of the book we will examine the practical aspects of experimental research. The main question is how to proceed in concrete terms when setting up a laboratory, preparing an experiment and then conducting it. Of course, the methodological principles that we have dealt with in the second part play a central role. It will therefore not be possible to proceed without repeating a number of previously described issues, but we will try to reduce any unnecessary repetition by making appropriate references to what is necessary.
Joachim Weimann, Jeannette Brosig-Koch

4. The Experiment from a Statistical Perspective

The statistical analysis of the data obtained in an experiment is an elementary part of an experimental investigation. It makes it possible both to interpret the results of an experiment in an appropriate way and to support the experimental examination of the research question. It also allows the experimental setup to be improved before the actual experiment commences. Our main objective is to develop a broad guide to the use of statistical methods that systematizes and presents the content of the most important classes of methods and identifies the most important prerequisites for their application.
Joachim Weimann, Jeannette Brosig-Koch


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