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From the lab to the real world : Laboratory experiments provide precise quantitative predictions of peer effects in the field


Charness, Gary; Fehr, Ernst (2015). From the lab to the real world : Laboratory experiments provide precise quantitative predictions of peer effects in the field. Science, 350(6260):512-513.

Abstract

Until the late 1980s, textbooks portrayed economics as a nonexperimental science because it was thought that “Economists…cannot perform the controlled experiments of chemists or biologists.…Like astronomers or meteorologists, they generally must be content largely to observe” (1). Since then, economics has experienced an experimental revolution (2–6). However, there has been a debate on the extent to which insights from economic lab experiments can be generalized to field settings (7–11). On page 545 of this issue, Herbst and Mas (12) show that the results of a class of lab experiments can be generalized to the field because they provide quantitatively precise descriptions of productivity spillovers between workers.

Abstract

Until the late 1980s, textbooks portrayed economics as a nonexperimental science because it was thought that “Economists…cannot perform the controlled experiments of chemists or biologists.…Like astronomers or meteorologists, they generally must be content largely to observe” (1). Since then, economics has experienced an experimental revolution (2–6). However, there has been a debate on the extent to which insights from economic lab experiments can be generalized to field settings (7–11). On page 545 of this issue, Herbst and Mas (12) show that the results of a class of lab experiments can be generalized to the field because they provide quantitatively precise descriptions of productivity spillovers between workers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:18 Nov 2016 07:05
Last Modified:20 Nov 2016 06:33
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:0036-8075
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad4343
Official URL:http://science.sciencemag.org/content/by/year

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