The Early Development of Experimental Economics: The Influence of Game Theory
Working Paper No. 287
22 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2000
Date Written: April 2000
An historical overview of experimental economics points out significant analogies between its origins and the contemporary emergence of game theory. In both cases, their effective introduction in economics was postponed until the 1960s. Such a delay cannot be ascribed to the supposed division between empirical and theoretical work but to the fact that in the 1950s experimental methodologies, such as game theory, were mainly developed by scholars of other social sciences which forced a re-examination of the prevailing postulates of economic theory. This interdisciplinary community gave rise to two different approaches: the socio-psychological one represented by experimental games, and the economic-managerial one represented by business games. Although both approaches were an outgrowth of game theory, the prevalence of the first had important consequences on subsequent developments.
JEL Classification: B21, C70, C90
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation