However, in recent years experimental research has been expanding at a rapid and sustained pace. Currently, the majority of economists will accept that a theory whose predictions do not receive any support in the lab should at least be reconsidered. The laboratory allows us to locate human decision-makers in an analogous situation to that described by theory and to analyze how they behave.
One possible way of figuring out economic laws … is by controlled experiments…. Economists (unfortunately) … cannot perform the controlled experiments of chemists or biologists because they cannot easily control other important factors. Like astronomers or meteorologists they must be content largely to observe. (Samuelson and Nordhaus, 1985)
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