Economic Classroom Experiments

Subject classification: this is an economics resource.

This page refers to information on economic classroom experiments and related material.

Numbers insist that an economic model of giving, can produce an economy of abundance in that, if all were to give consistently, a substantial amount, into, let's picture it as a river of abundance. What you do not need for right now goes to the river. And what you need when you need it comes from the river, for the most part. We see something similar to this in paying taxes to support the public welfare system. The problem is that these welfare systems that are in place, are terribly inefficient. And more money goes to paying employees of the system to manage the lesser amount of money actually going to public welfare.

I challenge anyone to run the numbers and prove the giving river wrong. Also, a challenge to anyone to say the public welfare system is not riddled with inefficiency...

Why use experiments in teaching economics?

  1. They help students to understand an otherwise abstract model. In the double auction experiment they experience, for example, how demand and supply drive the market towards equilibrium. It's learning by doing.
  2. To show that economic theory can work (for instance, in a Bertrand game). This is important because students or the general public are often sceptical about the use of mathematical analysis in economics.
  3. To show that economic theory might not work (for instance, in an ultimatum game). This quickly leads to questions on the current frontier of our science.
  4. An experiment can make it easier for students to grasp a threshold concept like Nash equilibrium.

List of Experiments

  1. The Twenty pound auction
  2. The Wallet Game
  3. The Ultimatum and the Dictator Bargaining Games
  4. The Public Good Game
  5. Private Value Auctions
  6. The Insurance Game
  7. Currency Attack
  8. Bertrand Competition
  9. American Call Option
  10. Diamond Dybvig Experiment
  11. Hold-Up Problem
  12. Kiyotaki Wright Hazlett Experiment
  13. Lemon Game
  14. Miniconomy
  15. Monty Hall Paradox
  16. Network Externalities
  17. Price Discrimination
  18. Team Draft
  19. Warren Buffett
  20. The Guessing Game
  21. Search
  22. Pit Market
  23. Complete List of Interactive Experiments
resource description
Charlie Holt's Homepage and veconlab Charlie Holt’s website has a variety computerized experiments. Students log in to an experiment via [1].
Simply type "veconlab" into google. The first link shown will be for the instructor to start an experiment. The second is for participating students to log in. You will need a log-in name.
Charlie Holt's book “Markets, Games, & Strategic Behavior” has many hand-run versions of his computerized experiments on veconlab.
Econport has a beautifully written version of the double auction (Vernon Smith's basic demand- and supply curve experiment).
Important information on how to alter the parameters of the experiment is at [2]
The site also offers a very useful on-line handbook for micro economics.
FEELE provides access to a set of computerized experiments. You can quickly log in as a subject to try out various experimennts, both group-participation (playing against recorded data from a real-life session) and individual-progress (playing against the computer). If you want to set up and run your own experiments, you need to register your email address to obtain a username and password. The site is very similar in purpose to Charlie's site and intended to complement it.
The Economics Network, UK Loads of useful information on all aspects of teaching economics, including Classroom Experiments and Games.
Denise Hazlett's Classroom Experiments provides information for 7 handrun macro experiments. FEELE computerized two of them.
David J. Cooper's Experimental Economics Class Material The site offers both links and a series of handrun classroom experiments some original and some standard.
Classroom Expernomics A web-based journal on classroom experiments published until 2003.
Games Economists Play: Non-Computerized Classroom Experiments for College Economics by Greg Delemeester and Jurgen Brauer One hundred and sixty classroom experiments described!
Greg Delemeester's links to Classroom Experiments, Internet Experiments and Internet Simulation Check for additional links.
Rubinstein's Course in Game Theory Plenty of questions on decision theory and game theory. Very easy to use. Select your own problem set and let students work on it via the web.
Ted Bergstrom and John H. Miller's textbook "Experiments with Economic Principles: Microeconomics" Experiments-based elementary microeconomics course. See note on ClassEx, below.
ClassEx Freely available apps for using cell phones or laptops to run experiments from Bergstrom and Miller's Experiments with Economic Principles.
MobLab-- interactive social games for classrooms through mobile devices Popular economic games on all major browsers, iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones.
airECONsim, a "long" market game for teaching Industrial Organization Highlights microeconomics notions such as marginal/average cost, variable/sunk costs, short run/long run costs, price elasticity of demand, demand shocks, impact of production capacity on price competition, oligopoly/monopoly and the logic behind competition, price discrimination, collusion, ... (also includes advanced features such as auctions for capacity or CO2 permits, mergers and takeovers, differentiation, ...)
Economics Games, Free Multiplayer Online Games for Teaching Economics Several short games for teaching economics (market games, prisoner's dilemma, public goods, Cournot and Stackelberg....). Students play with their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
FinEcoLab, Free interactive Economics Games in French for tablets and laptops 18 interactive games to teach concepts in financial education and economics in a playful, stimulating, meaningful and practical environment. FinÉcoLab is targeted at high school and college students. It provides teachers with a pedagogical guide. Students play with their tablets or laptops.

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Topics in Economic Classroom Experiments



Public Economics

Industrial Organization

Macroeconomics and Finance

Game Theory

Individual Decisions

  Type classification: this is a game resource.