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A Theory of Experimenters

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 -
11:00 to 12:00
Erik Snowberg, Professor, CERC in Data-intensive Methods in Economics, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC
Seminar
Room 102, Michael Smith Laboratories (2185 East Mall)

*Note the unusual location of this talk.*

Speaker's Page:  http://economics.ubc.ca/faculty-and-staff/erik-snowberg/.

UBC news-release on Dr. Snowberg: http://news.ubc.ca/2016/03/15/esteemed-economist-joins-ubc-as-new-canada-excellence-research-chair/

Abstract:  This paper proposes a decision-theoretic framework for experiment design. We  model experimenters as ambiguity averse decision-makers, who trade-off subjective expected performance, and robustness.  This framework suitably accounts for experimenters' preferences for randomization, and the circumstances in which randomization occurs: whenever available sample size becomes large enough. We illustrate the practical value of such a framework by studying the issue of rerandomization. We show that rerandomization creates a trade-off between subjective performance and robustness but that loss in robustness due to rerandomization grows very slowly with the number of assignment draws.