The experimental approach in economics is a driving force behind some of the most exciting developments in the field. The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field. It outlines the fundamental principles of experimental inference in order to investigate their power, scope and limitations. The author demonstrates that experimental economists have a lot to gain by discussing openly the philosophical principles that guide their work, and that philosophers of science have a lot to learn from their ingenious techniques devised by experimenters in order to tackle difficult scientific problems.
• First book on experimental economics from the perspective of philosophy of science and social science. • Author has training as experimentalist himself • Ideal for supplementary reading for courses in economic theory and philosophy of science
1. Introduction; Part I. Inferences within the Experiment: 2. Inside the laboratory; 3. Hypothesis testing; 4. Causation and experimental control; 5. Prediction; 6. Elimination; Part II. Inferences from the Experiment: 7. External validity; 8. Economic engineering; 9. From the laboratory to the outside world; 10. Experiments as mediators; 11. On monetary incentives.
'… effectively mixes a descriptive and a normative approach.' History of Economic Ideas
'This is a book that sorely needed to be written, and the experimental economics community should be grateful that Guala was the one to do it.' Journal of Economics and Philosophy
''I can hardly imagine a better exercise in intellectual ground clearing for debates in experimental and behavioural economics than Guala's book, and I recommend it highly.' Journal of Economics and Philosophy
'… Guala has produced what I expect will become a classic in the philosophy of economics, and one of the most useful books in general philosophy of science we will see this decade.' The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science