How would we feel about questions regarding the programming aspects of lab experiments in economics?

I am thinking of questions like this one I recently posted on Stackoverflow, or other questions about coding in ztree, otree, or other similar programs.

Would those be welcome here, or do they belong elsewhere?

Edit: I just realized the FAQ says: "Questions related to software used in economics and econometrics, are on-topic here." ( Welcome to Economics.SE!).

But does the last statement mean that only software recommendation questions are on topic, or that any questions about software-use related to economics is on topic?


1 Answer 1


I would be in favour of allowing such questions so long as Econ.SE is a better fit for the question concerned than Stackoverflow.

  • Clearly, if the question concerns abstract programming concepts then SO would be better.
  • If the question is specifically about the implementation of an economic concept in a practical experiment (e.g. what is an efficient way of computing the Vickrey allocation given this experimental set-up) then it seems obvious that Econ.SE is the better fit. Also, if there are specific software tools that are not widely used outside of the experimental social sciences then there may be a more targeted audience here.

Somewhere between these two extremes is the point where we should draw the line. The best way of determining the location of that point is to post some questions and see how the community votes.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree, but I would state it more positive: I think all questions that are not boat questions regarding one of the programming languages that are only used in economics (and maybe other social sciences) are on topic here. Most questions about zTree and oTree will probably ignored on SO. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2015 at 19:13

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