The Experimental Turn in Economics: A History of Experimental Economics

University of Utrecht: Utrecht School of Economics Dissertation Series #29

288 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2015 Last revised: 15 Apr 2015

See all articles by Andrej Svorenčík

Andrej Svorenčík

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 30, 2015

Abstract

The emergence of experimental economics in the last third of the 20th century revisited the long-standing belief that economics is a non-experimental discipline. The history of this new practice reveals this went further than simply introducing the experimental method to economics. Its history shows individual economists and research communities above all redefining the relationship between economic theory and rigorous data. Replicable data that were specifically created to satisfy conditions set by theory in controlled environments could not be avoided by economists or explained away as irrelevant to economic theory. The reconceptualization of the relationship between economic theory and rigorous experimental data culminated at the end of the 1980s in what I call the experimental turn, after which the experimental method became accepted in the wider economics community.

Keywords: History of Experimental Economics, Experimental Turn, Economics Laboratories, Economic Science Association

JEL Classification: B2, B3, C9

Suggested Citation

Svorenčík, Andrej, The Experimental Turn in Economics: A History of Experimental Economics (January 30, 2015). University of Utrecht: Utrecht School of Economics Dissertation Series #29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560026

Andrej Svorenčík (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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