Incentives in Experiments: A Theoretical Analysis
Experimental economists currently lack a convention for how to pay subjects in experiments with multiple tasks. We provide a theoretical framework for analyzing this question. Assuming statewise monotonicity and nothing else, we prove that paying for one randomly chosen problem—the random problem selection mechanism—is essentially the only incentive compatible mechanism. Paying for every period is similarly justified when we assume only a “no complementarities at the top” condition. To help experimenters decide which is appropriate for their particular experiment, we discuss empirical tests of these two assumptions.