2016 Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics

The 21st Annual Visiting Graduate Student Workshop was held at Chapman University on January 5 – 9, 2016.

The Economic Science Institute at Chapman University hosted 20 doctoral students from around the world for the 21st Visiting Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics. 2016-01-09_224110769_7597C_iOS

In a series of 11 sessions, the students first participated in an economic experiment earning cash as a naive subject would. Afterwards, students discussed with the faculty member the research questions and methods of the project. Participants had the opportunity to interact with the faculty throughout the week. The workshop introduces students to experimental economics by exposing students to the practical skills needed to run experiments as well as the deeper philosophy of economics.2016-01-09_224810662_0F190_iOS

The topics of the modules covered a broad range of applications, including virtual organizations, virtual worlds, game theory of contests and cross-species comparisons. 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 workshop topics/experiments and speakers were:

Virtual Organizations – Brice Corgnet, Chapman University
Markets for Information – Mark DeSantis, Chapman University
Contests – Alan Gelder and Dan Kovenock, Chapman University
Cognitive Load – Cary Deck, University of Alaska Anchorage and Chapman University
Cross-species Comparisons – Sarah Bronson, Georgia State University
Endogenous Institutions – Bart Wilson, Chapman University
Rewards and Work – Jared Rubin, Chapman University
Experimental Methods – Nathaniel Wilcox, Chapman University
Virtual Worlds – Kevin McCabe, George Mason University
Money and Institutions – Gabriele Camera, Chapman University
Colloquium Discussion – Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson, Chapman University

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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:

  • “This workshop and immense value past just the monetary gain of the experiments. The lectures showed me new ways of doing things and have opened my eyes to new tools and perspectives. We had opportunity to talk with each lecturer one-on-one after lectures which was of huge value to be able to get their feedback on specific ideas. We were able to have free time which all of the participants spent as a group which fostered great intellectual conversations that would not be had in any other setting. The knowledge and contacts made at this conference was incredible.”
  • “This workshop was such a fantastic experience, by far better than any workshop or conference I have ever attended and probably ever will attend. I wish I could do it twice! I learned a lot by participating in the experiments and then seeing how what the subject went through translated into a final paper. The pool of graduate students was incredibly diverse as well, making for very good networking and discussions. I’m definitely going back and telling all my classmates who are even only marginally interested in experiments to consider applying next year.”
  • “A great workshop, full of brilliant, international participants and presenters. The workshop takes excellent care of participants, teaches them a great deal, gives them much needed experience in experimental economics, and they pay well!“

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