Experiments in Environmental Economics and Some Close Relatives

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Abstract

Abstract.  It is not only the great number of papers written on environment economics that make it worth dealing with this special branch of experimental research, but the environmental problem in all its facets seems to serve as a catalyst for identifying some methodological problems of the experimental method. For this reason, we will not only try to give an overview of recent experiments in environmental economics but also add some thoughts on the methodological implications of this work. We identify three direct connecting factors for the experimental method and environmental economics. First, social dilemmas are, in many cases, at the core of environmental problems. Experiments are able to test theoretical hypotheses for individual behavior in such social dilemma situations. The second connecting factor comes from the field of applied experimental work and can be characterized as the testbedding of institutional arrangements for the solution of environmental problems. The last direct application of experimental methods to environmental economics concerns the individual evaluation of environmental resources.

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