The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Field Experiments

  • John A. List
  • David Reiley
Reference work entry


Field experiments have grown significantly in prominence since the 1990s. In this article, we provide a summary of the major types of field experiments, explore their uses, and describe a few examples. We show how field experiments can be used for both positive and normative purposes within economics. We also discuss more generally why data collection is useful in science, and more narrowly discuss the question of generalizability. In this regard, we envision field experiments playing a classic role in helping investigators learn about the behavioural principles that are shared across different domains.


Charitable giving Field experiments Generalizability Laboratory experiments Matching funds Testing Uniform-price auctions Vickrey auctions 

JEL Classifications

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. List
    • 1
  • David Reiley
    • 1
  1. 1.