2014 Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics

The Nineteenth Annual Visiting Graduate Student Workshop was held at Chapman University on January 7-11, 2014.   IMG_0329

The Economic Science Institute at Chapman hosted 23 doctoral students from around the world for the 19th Visiting Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics.

In a series of 11 sessions, the students first participated in an economic experiment as a naive subject would and then afterwards discussed with the faculty member the research questions and methods of the project. The topics covered a broad range of applications, including the biological foundations of economics, contracts, and game theory of contests and monetary policy.

Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson, the workshop director, also led Socratic roundtable discussions for which the students had in advance read essays and selections of writings by W.S. Jevons, F.A. Hayek, and Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments). The students left the workshop with a deeper appreciation for the philosophy of economic science, insights into the practical skills for conducting experimental research, and a broader exposure to new questions that resea
rchers are exploring with economic experiments.


The main workshop topics/experiments and speakers were:

Money – Gabriele Camera, Chapman University
Experimental Methods – Nathaniel Wilcox, Chapman University
Contracts – Timothy Shields, Chapman University
Contests – Cary Deck, University of Arkansas
Groups = Jared Rubin, Chapman University
Inter‐primate Comparisons – Sarah Brosnan, Georgia State University
Virtual Worlds – Kevin McCabe, George Mason University
Biological Foundations of Economics – Terrence Burnham, Chapman University
Accounting and Investment – Greg Waymire, Emory University &, Chapman University
Two Colloquium Discussions based on the required readings listed below – Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson, Chapman University


Required Readings

Colloquium Discussion #1

F.A. Hayek, American Economic Review, “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” (1945)
F.A. Hayek, The Essence of Hayek, Chiaki Nishiyama & Kurt R. Leube (Ed.), “Competition as a Discovery Procedure,” Chap. 13
William Stanley Jevons, The Theory of Political Economy, “Definition of a Market & Definition of  a Trading Body,” Chap. IV, (London: Macmillan & Co., 1888, 3rd Ed.)
Vernon L. Smith, Economic Inquiry, “Markets as Economizers of Information: Experimental Examination of the “Hayek Hypothesis,” (1982)

Colloquium Discussion #2

Jan Osborn, Bart J. Wilson, and Bradley R. Sherwood, Working Paper, “Conduct in Narrativized Trust Games,” (2013)
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part I, Section I (pgs. 1‐26); Part II, Sections I‐II, Chap. I, pgs. (67‐91), (1982)
Vernon L. Smith and Bart J. Wilson, Working Paper “Sentiments, Conduct, and Trust in the Laboratory,” (2013)

Here is what some participants had to say about the workshop:

“I think the workshop is done very well.  The opportunity to be a subject is really great.  Being a subject has actually changed my perspective as an experimental researcher. I would definitely recommend this workshop.”


“The networking was an amazing opportunity to meet future colleagues. The information presented was new and cutting edge. I acquired an immense amount of new knowledge. The presenters were super open to answering our questions.”


“The entire week was a great thought experiment.  Acting as a subject and guessing what the experiment was meant to measure and then hearing the real explanation was great.  Sharing ideas and hearing a diverse set of others was great and is one of the more important things academics can do.”

For more information on the workshop and upcoming dates hosted at the Economic Science Institute, please visit the Economic Science Institute’s website