The experimental approach in economics is a driving force behind some of the most exciting developments in the field. The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field. It outlines the fundamental principles of experimental inference in order to investigate their power, scope and limitations. The author demonstrates that experimental economists have a lot to gain by discussing openly the philosophical principles that guide their work, and that philosophers of science have a lot to learn from their ingenious techniques devised by experimenters in order to tackle difficult scientific problems.
1. Introduction; Part I. Inferences within the Experiment: 2. Inside the laboratory; 3. Hypothesis testing; 4. Causation and experimental control; 5. Prediction; 6. Elimination; Part II. Inferences from the Experiment: 7. External validity; 8. Economic engineering; 9. From the laboratory to the outside world; 10. Experiments as mediators; 11. On monetary incentives.
The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field.
Francesco Guala is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Department of Sociology and Philosophy, University of Exeter. He has also taught at Imperial College London and the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, and serves as an external research associate of the Centre for Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences, London School of Economics. Dr Guala has published extensively in philosophy and social science journals, including Philosophy of Science, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, Economics and Philosophy, the Journal of Economic Methodology, the Cambridge Journal of Economics, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, and Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He won the INEM (International Network for Economic Methodology) Prize in 2001 for best article on the methodology of economics written by a young scholar and, in the same year, won the History of Economic Analysis Award for best article on the history of economic thought written by a young scholar.
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