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A Theory of Experimenters

Abhijit Banerjee, Sylvain Chassang, Sergio Montero and Erik Snowberg

No 6678, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: This paper proposes a decision-theoretic framework for experiment design. We model experimenters as ambiguity-averse decision-makers, who make trade-offs between subjective expected performance and robustness. This framework accounts for experimenters’ preference for randomization, and clarifies the circumstances in which randomization is optimal: when the available sample size is large enough or robustness is an important concern. We illustrate the practical value of such a framework by studying the issue of rerandomization. Rerandomization creates a trade-off between subjective performance and robustness. However, robustness loss grows very slowly with the number of times one randomizes. This argues for rerandomizing in most environments.

Keywords: experiment design; robustness; ambiguity aversion; randomization; rerandomization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D78 D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-upt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10) Track citations by RSS feed

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