Experimental Economics’ Ethics

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Springer Netherlands


A variety of ethical considerations in designing, conducting, and reporting both laboratory and field experiments in economics are reviewed. An important area of ethical concern in experimental economics stems from its use of human subjects. The standards used by Institutional Review Boards to sanction research using human subjects are expounded upon, with an emphasis on application to economics experiments. The authors draw from other experimental researchers and from their own experience to discuss issues related to the interaction of experimenter and subject - e.g., deception, informed consent, blindness, and monetary incentives - and issues related to the interaction of experimenter and consumer of research - e.g., the reporting of negative results, pilot data, or details of the experiment that may offer alternative interpretations of results.

Chapter of

Practicing Professional Ethics in Economics and Public Policy


Elizabeth A. M. Searing
Donald R. Searing