Summer Scholars Program: 2010 Interns Share Experience

Joy Buchanan, Chapman University, 2011
After my second summer as an IFREE summer student, I feel more prepared to succeed in graduate school, and more importantly, in life as a scholar. The two main components of the mentorship are discussing challenging books and doing hands-on experimental economics research. Our mentor Bart Wilson selects a diverse group of students who enhance the program with their own experiences and viewpoints. His teaching style is very engaging because it allows people to learn from each other through dialogue and gives us the opportunity to try actual projects and learn from our own mistakes. With help, I was able to run an experiment about intellectual property and I have spent much of the mentorship analyzing our results.

I have learned the practical tools of experimental economics here in a way that I never would be able to in a regular class. The students who are lucky enough to come through this program will have a significant advantage over other aspiring economists and it directs students toward experimental lines of research who otherwise would not have known about it. The mentorship is also a lot of fun and a great way to network. Thank you for making this possible and thank you for the books.

Matthew Simpson, Iowa State University, 2014 (PhD)
The opportunity provided to me by IFREE and ESI has been invaluable. Working on experiments together with my fellow students is perhaps the best way to learn how to do experimental economics. Nothing can substitute for the on-the-ground experience I’ve obtained in the past six weeks. We had an ongoing project to develop, run and analyze data from a dictator game experiment. In addition, reading group discussions spawned another idea for an experiment inspired by Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist, which looks to be a long term collaboration between myself, another student, and Dr. Bart Wilson.

There are definitely benefits to attending for a second time as well. Last summer I felt like a dry sponge – soaking up knowledge but not contributing much. Like the metaphor would suggest, this summer I felt more like a wet sponge – I was able to contribute more to discussions and take the initiative and come up with ideas for new experiments. This summer has definitely been a positive experience for me. Thank you IFREE for giving me the opportunity to come back to Chapman and learn from the best in experimental economics!

Alex Bogart, Tarbut V’ Torah Jewish Community Day School, 2011
Despite my initial lack of knowledge in economics, I was able to understand a lot of the material we read and the work that we did over the past 6 weeks. I greatly enjoyed contributing to the mall experiment. I also found the experiments of my colleagues fascinating and I helped to analyze and construct data for display in a paper. Especially as someone still in high school, good summer occupation always seem to be in high demand and short supply. This was a great opportunity that I’m glad I had the chance to participate in.