Laboratory experiments and Austrian Economics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on the results of laboratory experiments that reveal how social preferences help regulate behavior to overcome social dilemmas. It argues that this evidence provides empirical support for the Austrian argument that social rules (as well as the institution of the market) are an important part of how societies respond to the knowledge problem. However, it also argues that the specific laboratory results regarding the “crowding out” of social preferences and the redistributive character of social preferences when outcomes are influenced by luck provide challenges to Austrian economics. In response, Austrian economics would seem to need to develop some more expanded notion of what matters in human life beyond the exercise of freedom and so extend the list of rules or institutions that require defence beyond those of the market and the rule of law.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Austrian Economics
EditorsDaniel J. D'Amico, Adam G. Martin
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Austrian Economics
ISSN (Print)1529-2134


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