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Economic Classroom Experiments

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

Why use experiments in teaching economicsEdit

  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 ExperimentsEdit

Useful Links and Related LiteratureEdit

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.
MobLab-- interactive social games for classrooms through mobile devices Popoular 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.

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Topics in Economic Classroom Experiments


Wallet Game · Twenty-Pound Auction · Private-Value Auctions ·


Pit Market ·

Public Economics

Public Goods · Insurance

Industrial Organization

Bertrand Competition · Network Externalities · Price Discrimination · Hold-Up Problem  · Lemons

Macroeconomics and Finance

Currency Attack · Being Warren Buffett  · Call Options · Bank Runs: Diamond Dybvig Model  · Money: Kiyotaki-Wright Model

Game Theory

Guessing Game · Prisoner's dilemma · Coordination game · Chicken · Battle of the sexes · Stag hunt · Matching pennies · Ultimatum Game · Rock, Paper, Scissors · Dictator game  · Sports Draft

Individual Decisions

Search · Monty Hall
  Type classification: this is a game resource.