Experiments in business

Michael Giberson

“The level of experimentation is abysmal,” says Prof List. “These firms do not take full advantage of feedback opportunities they’re presented with. After seeing example after example, we sat down and said, ‘We have to try to do something to stop this.’ One change we could make is to teach 75 to 100 of the best MBA students in the world how to think about feedback opportunities and how to think about designing their own field experiments to learn something that can make their company better.”

From a story in the Financial Times about a class by Steven Levitt and John List, “Using experiments in firms,” taught in the business school at the University of Chicago.

“We’re on a proselytising mission of bringing a different way of thinking,” says Prof Levitt.“We’re trying to bring about a revolution in business….”

(HT to Steven Levitt at Freakonomics)