PPEL 418: Political Economy Through Experiments

Given the growth of interest in behavioral considerations, experiments are increasingly used to test theories of behavior, gather stylized facts and design public policy. Experimental Economics may be the fastest growing field in economics today. It is a field that began with the proposition that economic theory can be testable in a controlled laboratory setting. Experimental work has been conducted in all fields of economics including Industrial Organization, Game Theory, Public Finance, General Equilibrium Theory and even Macroeconomics. Students will be introduced to the methods of experimental science, explore major subject areas that have been addressed through laboratory experiments, and learn how to design experiments of their own. Topics to be included reflect a variety of splits in the field: behavioral economics is more closely linked to psychology, neuroeconomics records brain wave activity during the experiment in an attempt to link behavior to specific areas of the brain, while the main branch, experimental economics, tries to learn about individual and group behavior given economic institutions and questions.

Course Credits