Handbook of Labor Economics, Vol. 4, No. Suppl PA, 2011

ISSN: 1573-4463

doi: 10.1016/S0169-7218(11)00409-6

Chapter 3Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?

Gary Charness, Peter Kuhn,

University of California, Santa Barbara, United States


This chapter surveys the contributions of laboratory experiments to labor economics. We begin with a discussion of methodological issues: when (and why) is a lab experiment the best approach; how do laboratory experiments compare to field experiments; and what are the main design issues? We then summarize the substantive contributions of laboratory experiments to our understanding of principal-agent interactions, social preferences, union-firm bargaining, arbitration, gender differentials, ...

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