2014 UAA Student Experimental Economics Workshop

May 21-22, 2014

Choice Processes, Choice Experiments, and Eye Tracking in Economics
UAA Department of Economics

A workshop sponsored jointly by IFREE and NSF EPSCoR on May 21st and 22nd, 2014, brought researchers interested in choice processes, choice experiments, and eye-tracking in economics to the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus.

The workshop examined theoretical reasons for using process data, the nuts and bolts of process measurement, as well as alternative empirical models, and methods that included the use of virtual reality techniques. The interest in determining when and how process data might prove useful for economists is a very general one, and workshop talks explored strengths and limitations of the revealed preference approach, and insights from alternative methods.

In addition to the foundational questions for economic practice, the workshop had an applied focus, examining how eye-tracking techniques can improve the design and interpretation of stated-preference choice experiments that are often used to estimate recreational demand models and natural resource values. The applied topics helped to focus plans of economists at UAA who are applying eye-tracking methods to study recreational demand on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, home to world-class salmon and trout fisheries, as part of the NSF funded Alaska EPSCoR project.

Workshop presentations included:

  • Mark Dean, Brown University, Rational Inattention
  • Iain Fraser, University of Kent, UK, Attribute Inattention in Choice Experiments
  • Joseph Johnson, Miami University, Response Dynamics in Decision Making
  • Ian Krajbich, Ohio State University, Neuroeconomic Modeling of Choice Processes
  • Craig Landry, East Carolina University, Experiments with Choice Experiments
  • Elisabet Rutstrom, Georgia State University, VX – Virtual Experiments, Using Virtual Reality to Generate Naturalistic Contexts
  • Todd Swarthout, Georgia State University, An Eye Tracking Investigation of Decision Making Under Risk
  • Brian Van der Naald, University of Alaska Southeast, Recreational Demand in Southeast Alaska

The workshop was attended by economists from the three main UA campuses in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, as well as by Alaska EPSCoR researchers in related social science fields.