So You Want to Run an Experiment, Now What? Some Simple Rules of Thumb for Optimal Experimental Design

23 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2010 Last revised: 28 May 2021

See all articles by John A. List

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sally Sadoff

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Mathis C. Wagner

Boston College

Date Written: January 2010

Abstract

Experimental economics represents a strong growth industry. In the past several decades the method has expanded beyond intellectual curiosity, now meriting consideration alongside the other more traditional empirical approaches used in economics. Accompanying this growth is an influx of new experimenters who are in need of straightforward direction to make their designs more powerful. This study provides several simple rules of thumb that researchers can apply to improve the efficiency of their experimental designs. We buttress these points by including empirical examples from the literature.

Suggested Citation

List, John A. and Sadoff, Sally and Wagner, Mathis Christoph, So You Want to Run an Experiment, Now What? Some Simple Rules of Thumb for Optimal Experimental Design (January 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15701, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1544751

John A. List (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Sally Sadoff

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

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Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Mathis Christoph Wagner

Boston College ( email )

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Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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