Some Interesting Working Papers

27 November 2008 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

This chapter provides a framework for assessing the contributions of experiments in Law and Economics. We identify criteria for determining the validity of an experiment and find that these criteria depend upon both the purpose of the experiment and the theory of behavior implicated by the experiment. While all experiments must satisfy the standard experimental desiderata of control, falsifiability of theory, internal consistency, external consistency and replicability, the question of whether an experiment also must be “contextually attentive” — in the sense of matching the real world choice being studied — depends on the underlying theory of decision-making being tested or implicated by the experiment.

Oates’’ Theorem and the M-form Hypothesis are both organizational theories of decentralization, though they deal with different types of organizations. This brief note describes how the two theories complement one another, through both verbal description and mathematical models. The result is a simple but comprehensive account of the delegation problem.

Randomized experiments have become a popular tool in development economics research, and have been the subject of a number of criticisms. This paper reviews the recent literature, and discusses the strengths and limitations of this approach in theory and in practice. We argue that the main virtue of randomized experiments is that, due to the close collaboration between researchers and implementers, they allow the estimation of parameters that it would not otherwise be possible to evaluate. We discuss the concerns that have been raised regarding experiments, and generally conclude that while they are real, they are often not specific to experiments. We conclude by discussing the relationship between theory and experiments.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Law and Economics, Methods/Methodology/Theory of Science, New Institutional Economics, Theory of the Firm.

Identification versus Importance Micro-Foundations at the Rotterdam School of Management

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Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
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Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
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