Applying experimental methods has become one of the most powerful and versatile ways to obtain economic insights, and experimental economics has especially supported the development of behavioral economics. The Art of Experimental Economics identifies and reviews 20 of the most important papers to have been published in experimental economics in order to highlight the power and methods of this area, and provides many examples of findings in behavioral economics that have extended knowledge in the economics discipline as a whole.

Chosen through a combination of citations, recommendations by scholars in the field, and voting by members of leading societies, the 20 papers under review – some by Nobel prize-winning economists – run the full gamut of experimental economics from theoretical expositions to applications demonstrating experimental economics in action. Also written by a leading experimental economist, each chapter provides a brief summary of the paper, makes the case for why that paper is one of the top 20 in the field, discusses the use made of the experimental method, and considers related work to provide context for each paper. These reviews quickly expose readers to the breadth of application possibilities and the methodological issues, leaving them with a firm understanding of the legacy of the papers’ contributions.

This text provides a survey of some of the very best research in experimental and behavioral economics and is a valuable resource for scholars and economics instructors, students seeking to develop capability in applying experimental methods, and economics researchers who wish to further explore the experimental approach.

chapter 1|19 pages

Introducing 20 top papers and their reviewers

ByGary Charness, Mark Pingle

chapter 10|10 pages

Unraveling in guessing games: An experimental study (by Rosemarie Nagel)

ByJohn H. Kagel, Antonio Penta

chapter 13|8 pages

A fine is a price (by Uri Gneezy and Aldo Rustichini)

ByAlex Imas

chapter 16|6 pages

Does market experience eliminate market anomalies? (by John A. List)

ByMatthias Sutter

chapter 17|9 pages

Promises and partnership (by Gary Charness and Martin Dufwenberg)

ByUrs Fischbacher, Franziska Föllmi-Heusi

chapter 18|7 pages

The hidden costs of control (by Armin Falk and Michael Kosfeld)

ByLaura Razzolini, Rachel Croson

chapter 19|12 pages

Do women shy away from competition? Do men compete too much? (by Muriel Niederle and Lise Vesterlund)

ByKatherine B. Coffman, Alvin E. Roth

chapter 20|10 pages

Group identity and social preferences (by Yan Chen and Sherry X. Li)

ByMarie Claire Villeval