It was once assumed to be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to experimentally study economics and economic phenomena. But recent research on experimental approaches in economics, including laboratory experiments with human subjects and computational ones with machine agents, has contributed to (i) testing economic theories, (ii) using experimental data to identify patterns regarding various factors in real-world social and economic problems/phenomena so as to create new theory, and (iii) evaluating the effects of potential policies in advance. In addition, these new approaches have played a role in the development of economic literature.
On the other hand, although these two types of experimental methods have several common features and many researchers have recognised their usefulness, only a few efforts on the combined use of the two methods have been presented; in fact, some even contrast laboratory experiments with agent‐based simulations. Yet experimental approaches in economics can not only help to explain economic phenomena and the behaviour of economic agents, but also help establish a new paradigm of economic literature.
The Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review (EIER) plans to publish a special issue on the combined use of experimental and agent-based approach in economics. For this special issue, we are announcing a wide-ranging call for research papers that contribute to the development of evolutionary economics and the related literature, methodological aspects of both approaches, and bridging the gaps between the experimental and agent‐based approach. We welcome not only studies in which both approaches are used sequentially or separately, but also those in which both are employed simultaneously, e.g. strategy experiments. We also welcome research papers that outline future directions in their combined use.
Contributions on all relevant topics, both methodological and applied, will be of interest and are welcome. Papers may broadly cover the following areas but are not limited to these sample topics.
Methodologies for combining the experimental and agent‐based approach
"Agent‐based methodolog[ies] to understand results obtained from laboratory studies with human subjects" (p. 951 in Duffy, 2006)
Papers that help "to understand findings from agent‐based simulations with follow‐up experiments involving human subjects" (p. 951 in Duffy, 2006)
Laboratory experiments involving machine agents and human subjects
Institutional design based on the experimental and computational approach