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Archived teaching schedules 2017–2018
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PCP03/NAM-VII Experimental Methods 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Master's Degree Programme in Public Choice
Faculty of Social Sciences

Learning outcomes

Economic experiments are conducted in controlled laboratory environments in order to test economic theory, look for behavioral regularities, formulate new theories to explain unpredicted regularities, and make policy recommendations by testing new policies and fine-tuning existing ones.
The course is an introduction to the theory and practice of experimental economics, with a look at its behavioral implications on existing theoretical models. We will conduct a number of classroom experiments in order to let students either identify systematic deviations (from the theories they have learned in previous undergraduate and master courses) or confirm theoretical predictions. The course will cover existing experimental methods and survey new behavioral models of individual and strategic behavior. The course is also aimed to teach students how to set up an economic experiment and to show them how economic experiments are useful in reshaping economic thinking.

General description

Visiting teacher: Giuseppe Attanasi, University of Lille
(LEM: Lille, Economics & Management)
(E-mail: giuseppe.attanasi@univ-lille1.fr)

Teaching Method
In each lecture:
(a) we will introduce a specific economic problem and run a 30 minutes classroom experiment representing this problem in the lab;
(b) we will introduce and analyze the theoretical/behavioral model ‘linked’to the proposed experiment, and formulate behavioral hypotheses that the experiment just run was aimed at testing;
(c) we will analyze the experimental results and check whether they verify the behavioral hypotheses. This might lead to behavioral extensions of the proposed model, so as to account for systematic deviations from predicted behavior;
(d) we will discuss the methodological and design issues of the experiment and eventually propose alternative implementations. The interaction between the teacher and the students attending the course is a necessary condition for the implementation of this 4-step teaching method.

Final Project
To get the course credits, a student should participate in at least 6 of the 7 classroom experiments run during the lectures (one per lecture). At the end of the course, each student will be assigned one of the 7 topics analyzed during the course. The student will have 2 weeks to work on an experimental project related to the topic.
The project can consist in:
(a) a review of the most recent literature,
(b) a report on experimental data provided by the teacher,
(c) the proposal of a new experimental design meant to deal with research questions on the topic, not yet analyzed in the experimental literature.
Once assigned the topic, the student will choose one of these three forms— review, report or proposal— for the …nal project, and the teacher will provide, respectively, relevant references, data or suggestions.

Detailed syllabus
We will analyze the methodological issues of key experimental topics in economics, and the behavioral features of recent extensions of related theoretical models of individual and strategic decision making.
We will mainly concentrate on the following topics:
 Lecture 1: Puzzles in Risky Decisions
 Lecture 2: Risk Aversion in the Lab
 Lecture 3: Ambiguity Aversion in the Lab
 Lecture 4: First-Price Auctions
 Lecture 5: Almost-Competitive Markets
 Lecture 6:VoluntaryContributionGames (Monetary andNon-monetary Incentives)
 Lecture 7: SocialDilemmaGames (Distributional andBelief-dependentPreferences)

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Katri Sieberg, Teacher responsible
Giuseppe Attanasi, Teacher


12-Apr-2018 – 20-Apr-2018
Lectures 20 hours
Thu 12-Apr-2018 at 12-15, Pinni B3032
Fri 13-Apr-2018 at 12-15, Pinni B3032
Mon 16-Apr-2018 at 9-12, Pinni B3074
Tue 17-Apr-2018 at 9-12, Pinni B3074
Wed 18-Apr-2018 at 9-12, Pinni B3032
Thu 19-Apr-2018 at 9-12, Pinni B3074
Fri 20-Apr-2018 at 10-12, Pinni B3074

Study materials

List of references will be given at the beginning of the course.