This issue of the Journal of Wine Economics contains two experimental economics articles that employ deceptive methods to learn about consumer decisions and choices. However, experimental economists have long deemed the deception of par- ticipants counterproductive. Once deceived, a subject might lose trust in the frame- work of future experiments, which may impede informed choices. To avoid the erosion of a reliable participant pool, most economic journals impose a de facto ban on articles that draw on deceptive methods.
Before we decided to publish the articles in question, we consulted with David J. Cooper, the editor-in-chief (together with Jacob Goeree) of Experimental Economics, the official journal of the Economic Science Association. Given that the two JWE experimental articles are not egregious cases and JWE is a journal that does not feature many experiments, Dr. Cooper did not object to publication on grounds of their employment of deceptive methods. However, since many of our authors are not aware of the deception issue, we invited Dr. Cooper to view this as an opportunity for education and briefly discuss why deception is normally prohibited and why might it be acceptable in this case. His thoughts are titled “A Note on Deception in Economic Experiments.”