Can we do policy recommendations from a framed field experiment? The case of coca cultivation in Colombia
Laboratory experiments are potentially effective tools for studying behavior in settings where little or no information would otherwise exist such as participation in illicit activities. However, using laboratory experiments to draw policy recommendations is highly debatable. We investigate the external validity of a framed field experiment that mimics coca cultivation and find evidence that behavior in the experiment is consistent with self-reported behavior. We use the experiment to discuss the effectiveness of carrot and stick policies on coca investments. The experiment indicates that subjects are more responsive to changes in the relative profit of cattle farming than to changes in the probability of coca eradication.
University of Gothenburg. School of Business, Economics and Law
Department of Economics