2015 Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics

The Twentieth Annual Visiting Graduate Student Workshop was held at Chapman University on January 6-10, 2015.

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 earning cash as a naive subject would and then afterwards discussed with the faculty member the research questions and methods of the project. The topics of the modules covered a broad range of applications, including principal agency, virtual worlds, 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 Vernon Smith.

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 researchers are exploring with economic experiments.

The main workshop topics/experiments and speakers were:

Money and Liquidity – Gabriele Camera, Chapman University
Experimental Methods – Nathaniel Wilcox, Chapman University
Beliefs – Timothy Shields, Chapman University
Land Assembly – Abel Winn, Chapman University
Principal Agency – Jared Rubin, Chapman University
Virtual Organizations – Brice Corgnet, Chapman University
Assignment Problem – David Porter, Chapman University
Contests – Alan Gelder and Dan Kovenock, Chapman University
Virtual Worlds – Kevin McCabe, George Mason University
Colloquium Discussion – Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson, Chapman University

Required Readings

Colloquium Discussion

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)

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

“I would definitely recommend it to others because it provides a great opportunity to interact with other experimentalists. It definitely opened my eyes to some research areas I haven’t thought about before. Also, it is valuable to know how a participant feels in an experiment. I think this experience will affect the ways I design my own experiments in the future.”


“The topics and the intensely hands-on approach make the workshop much, much different than others I’ve attended. I really feel like this workshop provided me with experiences that no other one would be able to. I will certainly recommend the workshop to PhD students behind me.”


“The one-week experience in this workshop is simply fantastic! I have learned a lot more than I expected. I met a group of people who are all genuinely interested in experimental and behavioral economics. I really appreciate the faculties’ enthusiasm in teaching and communicating with us. I’m looking forward to working with professors and other graduate students I met here. Also, there is a chance to make some money through the experiments!”

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