Experimental studies have been attracting much attention among agricultural and resource economists. This paper provides a type of the variety of experimental approaches in the literature and explores the key issues in application to regional agricultural and forestry economic studies.
Field experiments are experiments conducted outside laboratories with theoretically relevant participants in a real setting. Field experimental research is adopted by many development economists in rural areas of developing countries. This paper aims to provide a review on field experimental studies in developing countries and specify the issues toward this form of research in Japanese domestic rural areas. For this purpose, motivations of field experimental studies in developing countries are summarized. Motivations of field experiments in developing countries are categorized into two categories. One is to evaluate the impact of poverty alleviation programs and the other is to get an index of personal preferences like altruism, risk attitudes and so on. Separating prior studies into either of the two groups, a review on this form of research was carried out to understand the different frameworks of field experiment research. Further, the issues of experimental management are discussed through a case study. Based on literature review and case study, issues on application for future field experimental research in rural areas of Japan are summarized.