• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • Can we derive theory directly from observations?
      • Economics: is it an experimental science?
      • What is the scientist's (qua experimentalist) image of what he does?
      • A D–Q example from physics
      • A proposition and an economics example
      • Positive economics: judge theories by their predictions not their assumptions
      • In view of Proposition 2, what are experimentalists and theorists to do?
      • Experimental knowledge drives our methods
      • The machine builders
      • Technology and science
      • Experimental economics and computer/communication technology
      • Conclusion
    • See Also
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

experimental economics

Vernon L. Smith
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
Back to top


Experimental methods have features in common across all the sciences. All tend to use the framework of falsification, but there is inherent ambiguity in knowing which of the many hypotheses necessary to construct a test are negated by observations contrary to predictions. This ambiguity tends to engender much discussion, contestability and the design of new experiments that attempt to resolve the open qsts. This social process is not part of the logic of scientific testing, but it explains what scientists do and how new results become established.
Back to top


Back to top


Back to top

How to cite this article

Smith, Vernon L. "experimental economics." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 17 January 2018 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_E000277> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0527

Download Citation:

as RIS | as text | as CSV | as BibTex