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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses game theoretic experiments conducted in the laboratory on topics of particular interest to analytical sociologists, including cooperation, collective action, and social order. It reviews experimental work in economics that seems to be of direct relevance to analytical sociology and what it has to offer, with particular emphasis on behavioral economics. It first provides an overview of some key methodological considerations, focusing on seven key elements of experimental design: incentives, social context, language, repetition, common knowledge, control group, and empirical analysis. It also considers social norms of fairness and cooperativeness and describes how norms can be measured experimentally, how they become salient, and what experiments tell us about how norm-abiding behavior can be sustained.

Keywords: game theoretic experiments, cooperation, collective action, social order, analytical sociology, behavioral economics, experimental design, social norms, fairness, norm-abiding behavior

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