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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
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Utilise laboratory experiments as a method for empirical investigation
- Identify alternative approaches to analysing economic problems
- Evaluate the predictive power of different economic theories
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the topics covered through being exposed to the problem at hand
- 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: 5 June 2020