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Marketing Laboratory Experiments: The Resistible Rise of Laboratory Markets

By Paul Slattery

This paper will endeavor to develop a history of market experimentation. It will begin with a discussion of its earliest manifestations in the work of Edward Chamberlin, tracing its development through the dominance of Vernon Smith, Charles Plott and their students, and ending with its prospects for the future. It will pay particular attention to the iterative process by which market experimentation developed and gained presence in a changing disciplinary context. In the earlier period of market experimentation, spanning from Edward Chamberlin’s work in the 1940s through the mid 1970s, the substantial research will lend itself to rather comprehensive analysis. However, from the mid 1970s on, the proliferation of market experimentation will require restricting the purview to only the most substantial developments.

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