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EC984: Experimental Economics

  • Daniel Sgroi

    Module Leader
15 CATS - Department of Economics

Principal Aims

The module will introduce students to the principles of experimental design, conduct and analysis. Alongside the practical design of experiments, the course also includes a series of case studies demonstrating the power and variety of experimental methods in several fields of Economics. The course will encourage students to consider the scope and limitations of 'laboratory' experiments in economics and to compare this research tool with others such as surveys and field experiments to enable a critical evaluation of the experimental economics literature.

Principal Learning Outcomes

Subject Knowledge and Understanding: ...demonstrate understanding of how such methods might be used to address issues that are, as yet, unresolved. The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Assessed essay

Subject Knowledge and Understanding:...critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of applying experimental methods in economic research - and in particular, identify the different areas of economic behaviour where such methods are more or less useful. The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Assessed essay

Subject Knowledge and Understanding:...demonstrate understanding of and apply basic principles of experimental design, conduct and analysis. The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Assessed essay.

Cognitive Skills:...demonstrate ability to critically evaluate key experiments in the different areas where experimental methods have most often been applied. The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Assessed essay.

Cognitive Skills:...evaluate the main controversies in the field. The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Assessed essay.

Syllabus

Core methods normally covered at the start of the course:

• Introducing experimental economics: historical background; what experiments might (not) be good for; the relationship between experimental economics and behavioural economics; laboratory vs. the field; strengths and limitations.

• Experimental methodology: important issues in design; using treatments; control vs. realism; recruitment; incentives; priming and ethics. The course then moves on to cover different topics which may include some topics chosen from the examples below or others:

• Individual decision experiments: basic tools and methods; risk and uncertainty; intertemporal decision making; noise/error/imprecision.

• Herding and information: brief outline of informational herding theory; tests of herding behaviour; extensions: prices and endogenous timing; error modelling in experiments.

• Subjective wellbeing: measuring happiness in experiments; mood induction; causes and effects; experimental evidence.

• Strategic Interaction: explorations/tests of ‘conventional’ game theory; risk, preferences and social preferences; noise/error/imprecision and reasoning.

Context

Core Module
C8P7 - Year 1
Optional Module
C8P8 - Year 1
Pre or Co-requisites
The module is accessible to anyone with a good undergraduate background in economics, psychology or similar.

Assessment

Assessment Method
Coursework (100%)
Coursework Details
Essay 1 (50%) - Eligible for self-certification: Yes (Extension), Essay 2 (50%) - Eligible for self-certification: Yes (Extension) CATS:
Exam Timing
N/A

Exam Rubric

There is no examination for the EC984-15 CAT module in 2020/21

Previous exam papers can be found in the University’s past papers archive. Please note that previous exam papers may not have operated under the same exam rubric or assessment weightings as those for the current academic year. The content of past papers may also be different.

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