Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand

62 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2017 Last revised: 19 Aug 2022

See all articles by Jonathan de Quidt

Jonathan de Quidt

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)

Johannes Haushofer

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Stockholm University - Department of Economics; Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Christopher Roth

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students

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Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

We propose a technique for assessing robustness of behavioral measures and treatment effects to experimenter demand effects. The premise is that by deliberately inducing demand in a structured way we can measure its influence and construct plausible bounds on demand-free behavior. We provide formal restrictions on choice that validate our method, and a Bayesian model that microfounds them. Seven pre-registered experiments with eleven canonical laboratory games and around 19,000 participants demonstrate the technique. We also illustrate how demand sensitivity varies by task, participant pool, gender, real versus hypothetical incentives, and participant attentiveness, and provide both reduced-form and structural analyses of demand effects.

Suggested Citation

de Quidt, Jonathan and Haushofer, Johannes and Roth, Christopher, Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand (June 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23470, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2980578

Jonathan De Quidt (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

Johannes Haushofer

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Stockholms universitet
Stockholm, 106 91
Sweden

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

Christopher Roth

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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