Why a Trade-Off? The Relationship between the External and Internal Validity of Experiments

Theoria 25 (3):301-321 (2010)
Abstract
Much of the methodological discussion around experiments in economics and other social sciences is framed in terms of the notions of internal and external validity. The standard view is that internal validity and external validity stand in a relationship best described as a trade-off. However, it is also commonly heldthat internal validity is a prerequisite to external validity. This article addresses the problem of the compatibility of these two ideas and analyzes critically the standard arguments about the conditions under which a trade-off between internal and external validity arises. Our argument stands against common associations of internal validity and external validity with the distinction between field and laboratory experiments and assesses critically the arguments that link the artificiality of experimental settings done in the laboratory with the purported trade-off between internal and external validity. We conclude that the idea of a trade-off or tension between internal and external validity seems, upon analysis, far less cogent than its intuitive attractiveness may lead us to think at first sight
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,101
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Fredrik Hansen (2007). Setting the Scene with 'Firms' and 'Workers'. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (3):339-352.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-01-09

Total downloads

6 ( #214,234 of 1,102,094 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #192,056 of 1,102,094 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.