2016 IFREE Summer Scholar Program

Chapman University’s Economic Science Institute (ESI) hosted three undergraduate students to participate as IFREE Summer Scholars. This five-week program is generously sponsored by the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE) and the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

These Summer Scholars were chosen not only for their excellence in undergraduate courses with ESI faculty, but for their desire to build on what they had learned and study more advanced work. Scholars gain firsthand experience to explore and advance their knowledge in economics research, history, and philosophy.

Scholars met frequently as a group with their mentors, Drs. Jan Osborn and Bart Wilson, to explore texts and participate in thought-provoking discussions. Vernon Smith attended some of these discussions and described them as “a very stimulating experience”. Texts included papers in experimental economics, Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, F.A. Hayek’s The Fatal Conceitand literature like Goethe’s Faust or Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

Furthermore, scholars worked on research questions through experimental design and analysis.

Here is what the Scholars had to say about the program:

“I have had the best experience participating in IFREE’s summer program.  I was able to begin designing a laboratory experiment and the beginnings of a co-authored paper, all during my time as a summer researcher.  After participating in the Summer Scholars program for two back-to-back years, I have become a more analytical thinker and have new ways of thinking about the world, not simply economics.  My writing has improved greatly, becoming much more technical and refined.  I would recommend this experience to anyone that has any interest in this field.  The things I have learned throughout my summers here go far beyond these two summers, they have made a lasting impact on my life.” – Trent G., Chapman University Undergraduate

“As a Summer Scholar I was given access to world class faculty and resources all before the start of my sophomore year. In five weeks I had the opportunity to work daily with professors to pursue research topics of my choosing. While dissecting the topic of price gouging, I explored the contributions of different human ideas as the driving forces for markets, which transcend individual perspectives. I am now looking forward to designing experiments throughout the next year. As Summer Scholars, we come together every day committed to pursuing ideas greater than ourselves. I am very grateful to have had this wonderful experience.” –Alec M., Chapman University Undergraduate

“The experience of being an IFREE Summer Scholar has greatly impacted my life for the better. I’ve started research for a project I’m passionate about, I’ve contributed to discussions that have influenced the way I see the world, and I’ve had the honor of working with incredible students and professors.” –Mary H., Chapman University Undergraduate