The Study of Behavior

  • Joachim WeimannEmail author
  • Jeannette Brosig-Koch
Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)


In this first part of the book we are, in a sense, preparing the stage for what comes later. Experiments have only been part of the economic tools of the trade for a relatively short time and it is important to understand how this instrument fits into the economic toolbox. The explanations on the history of the subject are helpful, but can be skipped by readers who are only interested in the methodological aspects.

The excursions into the history of the subject, in Chaps. 2 and 3, serve to explain how behavioral economics could emerge despite the long dominance of normative theory and why both should be understood as complementary parts. Chapter 5 deals with the external validity of experiments. This refers to the question of whether experimental findings can be transferred to the real world or not.


  1. Alekseev, A., Charness, G., & Gneezy, U. (2017). Experimental methods: When and why contextual instructions are important. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 134, 48–59.Google Scholar
  2. Andersen, S., Ertaç, S., Gneezy, U., Hoffman, M., & List, J. A. (2011). Stakes matter in ultimatum games. American Economic Review, 101(7), 3427–3439.Google Scholar
  3. Bernheim, B. D. (2009). The psychology and neurobiology of judgement and decision making: What’s in it for economists? In P. W. Glimcher, C. F. Camerer, E. Fehr, & R. A. Poldrack (Eds.), Neuroeconomics: Decision making and the brain (pp. 115–126). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  4. Binmore, K., & Shaked, A. (2010). Experimental economics: Where next? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1), 87–100.Google Scholar
  5. Bolton, G. E. (2010). Testing models and internalizing context: A comment on “theory and experiment: What are the questions?”. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1), 16–20.Google Scholar
  6. Bolton, G. E., & Brosig-Koch, J. (2012). How do coalitions get built? Evidence from an extensive form coalition game with and without communication. International Journal of Game Theory, 41, 623–649.Google Scholar
  7. Bolton, G. E., & Ockenfels, A. (2000). A theory of equity, reciprocity and competition. American Economic Review, 90(1), 166–193.Google Scholar
  8. Bolton, G. E., Loebbecke, C., & Ockenfels, A. (2008). Does competition promote trust and trustworthiness in online trading? An experimental study. Journal of Management Information Systems, 25(2), 145–170.Google Scholar
  9. Bolton, G. E., Greiner, B., & Ockenfels, A. (2013). Engineering trust: Reciprocity in the production of reputation information. Management Science, 59(2), 265–285.Google Scholar
  10. Brosig, J., & Reiß, J. P. (2007). Entry decisions and bidding behavior in sequential first-price procurement auctions: An experimental study. Games and Economic Behavior, 58, 50–74.Google Scholar
  11. Bruni, L., & Sugden, R. (2007). The road not taken: How psychology was removed from economics, and how it might be brought back. The Economic Journal, 117, 146–173.Google Scholar
  12. Camerer, C. (2003). Behavioral game theory: Experiments in strategic interaction. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Camerer, C. F., & Hogarth, R. M. (1999). The effects of financial incentives in experiments: A review and capital-labor-production framework. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 19, 7–42.Google Scholar
  14. Carpenter, J., Verhoogen, E., & Burks, S. (2005). The effect of stakes in distribution experiments. Economics Letters, 86, 393–398.Google Scholar
  15. Chamberlin, E. (1948). An experimental imperfect market. Journal of Political Economy, 56, 95–108.Google Scholar
  16. Charness, G. (2010). Laboratory experiments: Challenges and promise: A review of “theory and experiment: What are the questions?” by Vernon Smith. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1), 21–23.Google Scholar
  17. Charness, G., & Rabin, M. (2002). Understanding social preferences with simple tests. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(3), 817–869.Google Scholar
  18. Cherry, T., Frykblom, P., & Shogren, J. (2002). Hardnose the dictator. American Economic Review, 92(4), 1218–1221.Google Scholar
  19. Chetty, R. (2015). Behavioral economics and public policy: A pragmatic perspective. American Economic Review, 105(5), 1–33.Google Scholar
  20. Cohen, J., & Blum, K. (2002). Reward and decision. Neuron, 36(2), 193–198.Google Scholar
  21. Cooper, D. J., & Kagel, J. H. (2015). Other-regarding preferences. In J. H. Kagel & A. E. Roth (Eds.), The handbook of experimental economics (Vol. 2, pp. 217–289). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Croson, R., & Gächter, S. (2010). The science of experimental economics. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1), 122–131.Google Scholar
  23. De Silva, D. G., Dunne, T., & Kosmopoulou, G. (2002). Sequential bidding in auctions of construction contracts. Economics Letters, 76(2), 239–244.Google Scholar
  24. DellaVigna, S. (2009). Psychology and economics: Evidence from the field. Journal of Economic Literature, 47(2), 315–372.Google Scholar
  25. Falk, A., & Heckman, J. J. (2009). Lab experiments are a major source of knowledge in the social sciences. Science, 326(5952), 535–538.Google Scholar
  26. Falk, A., Meier, S., & Zehnder, C. (2013). Do lab experiments misrepresent social preferences? The case of self selected student samples. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(4), 839–852.Google Scholar
  27. Fechner, G. T. (1860). Elemente der Psychophysik. Leipzig: Breitkopf und Hartel.Google Scholar
  28. Fehr, E., & Schmidt, K. M. (1999). A theory of fairness, competition and cooperation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114(3), 817–868.Google Scholar
  29. Fehr, E., & Schmidt, K. M. (2006). The economics of fairness, reciprocity and altruism–experimental evidence and new theories. In S.-C. Kolm & J. M. Ythier (Eds.), Handbook of the economics of giving, altruism and reciprocity (Vol. 1, pp. 615–691). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  30. Fehr, E., Tougareva, E., & Fischbacher, U. (2014). Do high stakes and competition undermine fair behaviour? Evidence from Russia. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 108, 354–363.Google Scholar
  31. Flood, M. M. (1952). Some Experimental Games. Research Memorandum RM-789, RAND Corporation, June.Google Scholar
  32. Flood, M. M. (1958). Some experimental games. Management Science, 5(1), 5–26.Google Scholar
  33. Fréchette, G. R., & Schotter, A. (2015). Handbook of experimental economic methodology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Friedman, D. (2010). Preferences, beliefs and equilibrium: What have experiments taught us? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73, 29–33.Google Scholar
  35. Glimcher, P. W., Camerer, C. F., Fehr, E., & Poldrack, R. A. (2013). Neuroeconomics. Decision making and the brain. Amsterdam et al.: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  36. Guala, F. (2005). The methodology of experimental economics. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Jofre-Bonet, M., & Pesendorfer, M. (2000). Bidding behavior in a repeated procurement auction. European Economic Review, 44(4–6), 1006–1020.Google Scholar
  38. Jofre-Bonet, M., & Pesendorfer, M. (2003). Estimation of a dynamic auction game. Econometrica, 71(5), 1443–1489.Google Scholar
  39. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47(2), 263–291.Google Scholar
  40. Levitt, S. D., & List, J. A. (2007). What do laboratory experiments measuring social preferences reveal about the real world? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21, 153–174.Google Scholar
  41. Levitt, S. D., & List, J. A. (2008). Homo economicus evolves. Science, 31, 909–910.Google Scholar
  42. Lichters, M., Müller, H., Sarstedt, M., & Vogt, B. (2016). How durable are compromise effects? Journal of Business Research, 69(10), 4056–4064.Google Scholar
  43. Plott, C. R. (1982). Industrial organization theory and experimental economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 20(4), 1485–1527.Google Scholar
  44. Roth, A. E. (1995). Introduction. In J. H. Kagel & A. E. Roth (Eds.), The handbook of experimental economics (pp. 3–109). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Sadrieh, K., & Weimann, J. (2008). Experimental economics in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A collection of papers in honor of Reinhard Tietz. Marburg: Metropolis-Verl.Google Scholar
  46. Samuelson, P. A. (1938). A note on the pure theory of consumer’s behaviour. Economica, 5(17), 61–71.Google Scholar
  47. Samuelson, L. (2005). Economic theory and experimental economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 43(1), 65–107.Google Scholar
  48. Sauermann, H., & Selten, R. (1959). Ein Oligopolexperiment. Zeitschrift für die ge-samte Staatswissenschaft. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 115(3), 427–471.Google Scholar
  49. Schelling, T. C. (1957). Bargaining, communication, and limited war. Conflict Resolution, 1(1), 19–36.Google Scholar
  50. Schram, A. (2005). Artificiality: The tension between internal and external validity in economic experiments. Journal of Economic Methodology, 12, 225–237.Google Scholar
  51. Simon, W. (2006). Persönlichkeitsmodelle und Persönlichkeitstests. Offenbach.Google Scholar
  52. Slonim, R., & Roth, A. E. (1998). Learning in high stakes ultimatum games: An experiment in the Slovak Republic. Econometrica, 66(3), 569–596.Google Scholar
  53. Smith, V. (1976). Experimental economics: Induced value theory. American economic review. Papers and Proceedings, 66(2), 274–279.Google Scholar
  54. Smith, V. L. (2010). Experimental methods in economics. In S. N. Durlauf & L. E. Blume (Eds.), Behavioural and experimental economics (pp. 120–136). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  55. Thurstone, L. L. (1931). The indifference function. Journal of Social Psychology, 2(2), 139–167.Google Scholar
  56. Von Neumann, J., & Morgenstern, O. (1944). Theory of games and economic behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Wallis, W. A., & Friedman, M. (1942). The empirical derivation of indifference functions. In O. Lange, F. McYntire, & T. Yntema (Eds.), Studies in mathematical economics and econometrics (pp. 175–189). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  58. Weimann, J. (2015). Die Rolle von Verhaltensökonomik und experimenteller For-schung in Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Politikberatung. Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 16(3), 231–252.Google Scholar
  59. Weimann, J., Knabe, A., & Schöb, R. (2015). Measuring happiness. The Economics of wellbeing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Otto-von-Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.University of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

Personalised recommendations