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Experimental Economics (ECON30022)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeECON30022
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Experimental Economics is a branch of economics that uses controlled experiments to evaluate theories and behavioural assumptions, as well as to test policies and their implementation. The subject will introduce students to experimental methods as applied in economics and present key findings from laboratory and field experiments. The first lecture in most weeks will be devoted to running experiments where students will experience different economic situations. The second lecture will present the theories underlying the experimental games and will use the experimental data from the first lecture (as well as other experimental data) as a vehicle for discussion. By comparing actual individual behaviour to the theoretical predictions, the course aims to provide a deep understanding of individual behaviour and how economic science progresses. Topics that will be covered may include risk, time, and social preferences, trading in a variety of markets such as auction and markets with price controls and for trading long-lived assets, voluntary provision of public goods and cooperation enforcement, social norms and behavioural game theory.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Introduce students to laboratory experiments as a method for empirical investigation
  • Offer an alternative approach to analysing economic problems
  • Evaluate the predictive power of different economic theories
  • Facilitate a deep understanding of the topics to be covered by exposing students to the problem at hand

Generic skills

  • High level of development: oral communication; written communication; application of theory to practice; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information; use of computer software; receptiveness to alternative ideas.

  • Moderate level of development: collaborative learning; problem solving; team work; statistical reasoning; accessing data and other information from a range of sources.

Last updated: 11 October 2019