Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 13 No. 3 (Summer 1999)


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The Social Experiment Market

Article Citation

Greenberg, David, Mark Shroder, and Matthew Onstott. 1999. "The Social Experiment Market." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13(3): 157-172.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.3.157


In social experiments, individuals, households, or organizations are randomly assigned to two or more policy interventions. Elsewhere, we have summarized 143 experiments completed by autumn 1996. Here, we use the information we have gathered on these experiments and findings from informal telephone interviews to investigate the social experiment market--the buyers and sellers in the market that governs the production of experiments. We discuss target populations, types of interventions tested, trends in design, funding sources, industry concentration, the role of economists in social experimentation, the reasons few social experiments have been conducted outside the United States, and the future of the social experiment market.

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Greenberg, David (U MD)
Shroder, Mark (US Dept of Housing & Urban Development)
Onstott, Matthew (US Dept of Education)

JEL Classifications

C93: Field Experiments


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