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Handbook of Experimental Economic Methodology$
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Guillaume R. Fréchette and Andrew Schotter

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328325

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328325.001.0001

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The Promise and Success of Lab–Field Generalizability in Experimental Economics: A Critical Reply to Levitt and List

The Promise and Success of Lab–Field Generalizability in Experimental Economics: A Critical Reply to Levitt and List

Chapter:
(p.249) 14 The Promise and Success of Lab–Field Generalizability in Experimental Economics: A Critical Reply to Levitt and List
Source:
Handbook of Experimental Economic Methodology
Author(s):

Colin F. Camerer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328325.003.0016

This chapter addresses the Levitt and List criticism that lab experimental findings may not generalize to field settings. It has three main points. First, special concern about generalizability of lab results might result from an aversion to the stylized perspective on what economics experiments are meant to do, which most experimentalists hold (called the scientific view). Second, even in the scientific perspective it is certainly true that some economics experiments have features that make them less likely to generalize to some naturally occurring settings. Third, it reviews economics experiments which are specifically designed to generalize from the lab to the field. Generalization between lab and field is generally rather good.

Keywords:   laboratory experiments, economics experiments, scientific view, field settings, field experiment

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