Edited by Claude Ménard and Mary M. Shirley
Chapter 29: How do experiments inform collective action research?
In the context of collective action research, this chapter discusses how experiments inform us about human behavior in a way that field data do not. Experiments allow researchers to directly compare institutions that promote cooperation, analyze their welfare properties, and assess their causal impact on observed behavior by creating counterfactuals, while keeping the underlying environment constant. Experiments are a great tool for test-bedding new economic institutions designed to alleviate inefficiencies, identifying vital components of social and economic exchange that promote cooperation, and studying factors that influence the strength and prevalence of these individual components.
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