In my own biased view, one such group are experimentalists. The best
experimental work provides extremely clever manipulations that generate data
to address previously empirically intractable questions. The AER is full of
such clever and careful work. Recent AER examples include Henrich et. al.'s
efforts to use experiments to learn about how trust and market performance
are related, Fehr et. al.'s efforts to examine the effect of sanctions on
cooperation, List et. al.'s field experiments with baseball cards, and on
and on (including work by ICES colleagues)... On balance I would argue that
Levitt is indeed unusually clever (in the sense that he comes up with good
questions and also finds interesting natural manipulations to study them),
but that his particular approach to economic science is not novel: Vernon
Smith has been using it for decades. - Dan

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dimitriy V. Masterov" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: Levitt article

> In an earlier message, William Sjostrom suggested that Levitt's research
> is typical of the economics field. I am very curious about this statement,
> because it is at odds with my casual empiricism, and I would like to see
> it backed by some concrete evidence. Perhaps this reflects my own
> ignorance of the literature, but I would like to know who
> does such clever, but careful empirical work. If this is true, I'd like
> to read it. Are there people out there that collect interesting data to
> approach previously intractable questions from a new direction?
> The best example of this that I can think of is a working paper that
> estimated the scope of corruption in Indonesia by looking at how the stock
> prices of companies that has close links to the Suharto government reacted
> to news about his health. I can't seem to find this paper to provide you
> with a citation.
> Dimitriy V. Masterov
> Dimitriy V. Masterov
> Center for Social Program Evaluation
> 1155 East 60th St. Room 038
> Chicago, IL 60637
> Work: (773)256-6005
> Fax: (773)256-6313

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