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A Note on Qualitative Methods in Experimental Economics

Experimental Economics and Culture

ISBN: 978-1-78743-820-0, eISBN: 978-1-78743-819-4

Publication date: 14 December 2018


John and Storr (this volume) make the case that quantitative methods help establish whether culture matters, but do not tell us how culture matters. To better understand how culture matters, social scientists must use qualitative methods like interviews, in-depth case studies, and archival research. Currently, experimental economists engage qualitative methods through the coding of “chat” transcripts and informal talks with subjects while payments are arranged. Experimental economists do this because they know that it is a good idea to talk to the people they seek to understand and learn from their thought process. The goal of this chapter is to build on the insights from John and Storr about the importance of qualitative work and to provide experimental economists with some concrete ideas about qualitative methods that can improve their research.




Thank you to the attendees at the Florida State University experimental economics seminar for their comments and suggestions. In particular, I would like to thank Mark Isaac, John Hamman, Ellis Magee, and Sebastian Goerg. Also, thank you to Virgil Storr for an invitation several years ago to a qualitative methods workshop at George Mason University where I was able to learn about these methods from Emily Chamlee-Wright. All errors are my own.


Norton, D.A. (2018), "A Note on Qualitative Methods in Experimental Economics", Experimental Economics and Culture (Research in Experimental Economics, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-61.



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