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Banking on experiments?

Journal article
Authors Martin Dufwenberg
Published in Journal of economic studies
Volume 42
Issue 6
Pages 943-971
ISSN 0144-3585
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 943-971
Language en
Keywords Bank runs, Banking crises, Insolvency, Lab experiments
Subject categories Economics and Business


Purpose – How can laboratory experiments help us understand banking crises, including the usefulness of various policy responses? After giving a concise introduction to the field of experimental economics more generally, the author attempts to provide answers. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach – The author discusses methodology and surveys relevant work. Findings – History is often too complicated to be meaningfully revamped or modified in the lab, for purposes of insight-by-analogy. But as people argue about how to understand financial history, they bring ideas to the table. It is possible and useful to test the empirical relevance of these ideas in lab experiments. Originality/value – The paper pioneers broad discussion of how lab experiments may shed light on banking crises. © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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