Call for papers: Special Issue on Field Experiments

Guest editors: Michael Luca and Sarah Moshary

Many questions that managers ask are causal in nature. For example, would increasing wages increase productivity? Would clarifying a company’s mission motivate employees? Would a different pricing structure make an online marketplace more efficient? Would making operations more transparent improve customer satisfaction?

At the same time, the complex nature of managerial decision-making can make obtaining causal estimates challenging. Observational data, combined with causal inference techniques such as instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, and difference in differences, can help analyze existing managerial policies and policy changes but are not always feasible.

In recent years, field experiments have emerged as an increasingly important tool for causal inference in managerial settings, complementing observational analyses, and providing new opportunities to obtain causal answers to central managerial questions. More generally, field experiments have come to play an important role in social science research. Companies have begun to run their own experiments as well, in areas ranging from marketing to strategy to platform design to hiring. Experiments are particularly central to the ethos of decision making in the tech sector, with large tech companies such as Google and Uber running thousands per year. Experiments extend well beyond the tech sector as well.

However, we are still at the beginning of a broad movement toward leveraging experiments to understand and improve managerial decisions. Field experiments can contribute to our understanding of business practices, and identify frameworks and insights for improving them. Experiments can also directly help companies make more data-driven decisions.

With the goal of advancing the use of field experiments to understand and improve managerial decisions and practices, the Journal of Economics & Management Strategy is inviting paper submissions for a special issue on field experiments. The issue will be edited by Michael Luca and Sarah Moshary. We seek experiments that are run in collaboration with companies, as well as field experiments that are run without the involvement of organizational partners. There are also unique challenges in designing and running managerially-relevant field experiments. We especially welcome studies that provide insights on methodological challenges, best practices, and advances in designing and running experiments in management contexts. Our goal is to help accelerate and shape the direction of research on managerially- relevant field experiments, and to create a venue for papers at the frontier of this area.

Please submit papers on ScholarOne by February 28, 2020.

See the following link:

Note: In Step 1 of the submission process, you will see the option to submit to a Special Issue. In Step 5, you will be prompted to choose the specific issue from a dropdown list, and you should choose the Special Issue on Field Experiments.

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