Do Natural Field Experiments Afford Researchers More or Less Control Than Laboratory Experiments?
- (pp. 462-66)
AbstractA commonly held view is that laboratory experiments provide researchers with more "control" than natural field experiments. This paper explores how natural field experiments can provide researchers with more control than laboratory experiments. While laboratory experiments provide researchers with a high degree of control in the environment which participants agree to be experimental subjects, when participants systematically opt out of laboratory experiments, the researcher's ability to manipulate certain variables is limited. In contrast, natural field experiments bypass the participation decision altogether due to their covertness, and they allow for a potentially more diverse participant pool within the market of interest.
Citation2015. "Do Natural Field Experiments Afford Researchers More or Less Control Than Laboratory Experiments?" American Economic Review, 105 (5): 462-66. DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151013
- C91 Design of Experiments: Laboratory, Individual
- C93 Field Experiments