A few decades ago, most economists believed that their discipline was non-experimental. Economic phenomena should be studied theoretically or empirically. The ideal paper was one where rigorous theory was tested using advanced econometric methods. The fact that the empirics were usually based on (often incomplete) field data only remotely related to the problem at hand was no problem: this is why we had econometrics.

This essay is organized as follows. The next section briefly describes the experimental methodology. This is followed by four sections on experiments in public choice: public goods, voter turnout and participation games, rent seeking and lobbying, and spatial voting. A concluding discussion is presented at the end.


Public Good Public Choice Median Voter Voter Turnout Public Good Game 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur J. H. C. Schram

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