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The E-Word – On the Public Acceptance of Experiments

Mira Fischer, Elisabeth Grewenig, Philipp Lergetporer and Katharina Werner
Additional contact information
Mira Fischer: WZB Berlin
Philipp Lergetporer: ifo Institute
Katharina Werner: ifo Institute

No 219, Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series from CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition

Abstract: Randomized experiments are often viewed as the “gold standard” of scientific evidence but people’s scepticism towards experiments has compromised their viability in the past. We study preferences for experimental policy evaluations in a representative survey in Germany (N>1,900). We find that a majority of 75% supports the idea of small-scale evaluations of policies before enacting them at a large scale. Experimentally varying whether the evaluations are explicitly described as “experiments” has a precisely estimated overall zero effect on public support. Our results indicate political leeway for experimental policy evaluation, a practice that is still uncommon in Germany.

Keywords: experiment aversion; policy experimentation; education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 H40 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-12-16
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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