Experimental Philosophy: Theory
I took a course in experimental economics in 1986. The term project was to design an experiment. I designed an experiment to show first that economics experiments could be designed that would not only test overt behavior, such as whether people defect in Prisoner's Dilemmas, but that could sort out why they were defecting. Second, It could test such potential policy instruments as a money back guarantee--how such things could affect contribution rates observed in public goods provision mechanisms even when they don't change the fact that defection is a dominant strategy. My teacher, Mark isaac, submitted the paper to the National Science Foundation and got a grant that employed me as a laboratory research assistant for two years. It resulted in a chapter of my dissertation in 1988 and in a paper in 1989 co-authored with Mark and James Walker which is probably my most cited paper and which has spawned dozens of permutations over the years. I rewrote the paper, emphasizing the Philosophy of Science issues, for Dan Little's volume on the reliability of economic models, published in 1995.