ECON2040: Graduate Experimental Economics





This course provides an introduction to experimental methods and their applications in economics. We will focus on (i) the use of lab and internet experiments in establishing causal effects, testing models, and illuminating mechanisms; (ii) field experiments in behavioral economics; (iii) the measurement of preference parameters and behavioral traits in lab-in-the-field settings; and (iv) survey design. Topics include bounded rationality, wishful thinking, morality and social image concerns, gender, the measurement of preferences in lab and large-scale survey settings, and the explanatory power of behavioral traits for field behaviors. We will cover methodological topics including simple neuro process-tracing techniques, internet experiments, and surveys. Students will become acquainted with the process of designing an experiment, and class discussions will place heavy emphasis on the development of early-stage research ideas. The course is intended not just for those with an interest in behavioral and experimental economics per se, but also for those who wish to measure behavioral parameters in applied work, or to conduct field experiments.