Lab in the Field: Measuring Preferences in the Wild

Forthcoming in the Handbook of Field Experiments, edited by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5953

38 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016  

Uri Gneezy

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

Alex Imas

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Date Written: June 22, 2016

Abstract

In this chapter, we discuss the “lab-in-the-field” methodology, which combines elements of both lab and field experiments in using standardized, validated paradigms from the lab in targeting relevant populations in naturalistic settings. We begin by examining how the methodology has been used to test economic models with populations of theoretical interest. Next, we outline how lab-in-the-field studies can be used to complement traditional Randomized Control Trials in collecting covariates to test theoretical predictions and explore behavioral mechanisms. We proceed to discuss how the methodology can be utilized to compare behavior across cultures and contexts, and test for the external validity of results obtained in the lab. The chapter concludes with an overview of lessons on how to use the methodology effectively.

Keywords: experiments, methodology, field experiments

JEL Classification: C900, C910, C930

Suggested Citation

Gneezy, Uri and Imas, Alex, Lab in the Field: Measuring Preferences in the Wild (June 22, 2016). Forthcoming in the Handbook of Field Experiments, edited by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo; CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5953. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2811026

Uri Gneezy

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

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Alex Imas (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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