A Caltech Library Service

Public Choice and the development of modern laboratory experimental method in economics and political science

Plott, Charles R. (2014) Public Choice and the development of modern laboratory experimental method in economics and political science. Constitutional Political Economy, 25 (4). pp. 331-353. ISSN 1043-4062.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The paper is an account of the development of laboratory experimental methods in the early 1970s as influenced by the fields of Public Choice and Social Choice. Just a few key experiments conducted during a period when no experimental markets research was taking place, provide a bridge with the subsequent, rapid, growth of experimental economics. A new focus on public goods and externalities, as opposed to private goods traditionally used in economics experiments, required new representations of the commodity space and preference inducement methods. The importance of voting and collective decision making processes dictated the testing of equilibrium concepts from political science and cooperative game theory as opposed to the competitive equilibrium and Nash equilibria found in economics. The existence of many theories from multiple disciplines required new experimental designs and experimental tests. The Public Choice and Social Choice emphasis on comparing the performance of different types of collective decision processes induced early experiments related to institutional design and testing.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access ItemSocial Science Working Paper 1383
Additional Information:© 2014 Springer. First Online: 07 September 2014.. The comments of Roger Congleton, Morris Fiorina, and Andrej Svorencik are gratefully acknowledged. Also available as Social Science Working Paper 1383.
Subject Keywords:Experiments; Early history; Public choice; Committee experiments
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191018-163234530
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Plott, C.R. Const Polit Econ (2014) 25: 331.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99378
Deposited By: Katherine Johnson
Deposited On:18 Oct 2019 23:39
Last Modified:18 Oct 2019 23:39

Repository Staff Only: item control page