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Improvements and Future Challenges for the Research Infrastructure in the Field „Experimental Economics“


Simon Gächter

Experimental economics is an established method of generating controlled and replicable empirical knowledge. It is complementary to other empirical methods in the social sciences. The research infrastructure for laboratory experiments is very good in Europe and also in Germany. One useful instrument would be to develop a short socio-economic questionnaire with questions already used in surveys that experimental economists could use to administer to their participants. The analyses of the selectivity of subject pools would then be an easy task. However, among experimental economists no standard exists yet, which limits the comparability of respective data sets. An effort shall be undertaken to “create” such a common questionnaire. The status quo with regard to data reporting is that no standard has emerged yet. There exists one data repository (in the United States) where data of experiments are collected and are freely available. Building up a data archive that integrates (merges) existing data is very laborious and requires substantial scientific inputs of interested researchers.

Keywords: Experimental economics, data archives, selectivity of subject pools
JEL Classification: C81, C9