Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand

63 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2017

See all articles by Jonathan de Quidt

Jonathan de Quidt

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)

Johannes Haushofer

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Christopher Roth

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

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Date Written: June 14, 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.

Keywords: Experimenter Demand, Beliefs, Bounding

JEL Classification: B410, C910, C920

Suggested Citation

de Quidt, Jonathan and Haushofer, Johannes and Roth, Christopher, Measuring and Bounding Experimenter Demand (June 14, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6516, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2999695

Jonathan De Quidt (Contact Author)

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

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

Johannes Haushofer

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Christopher Roth

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

Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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