Institut für Strategie, Technologie und Organisation (ISTO)

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MBR: Experimental Economics

Archive StampMBR Core Course

Prof. Dr. Loukas Balafoutas

Course Overview

This course is meant to serve as a rigorous introduction to experimental economics. There is a dual focus, on the current state of the literature in experimental and behavioral economics and on the methodology of economic experiments. In a nutshell, the objectives of the course are to develop among participating students interest in experimental and behavioral economic research; to acquaint them with some broad fields of research where experiments have been used extensively; and, finally, to equip them with the skills that are necessary in order to understand the relevant literature in depth and be able to conduct experiments on their own in the future.

Course Structure

In the first lectures of the course, the purpose is to equip students with the theoretical and practical background knowledge and skills that are necessary to run and evaluate economic experiments. This part begins with a brief outline of the purpose and history of economic experiments, positioning experiments within the broader area of empirical economic research and also touching upon issues relating to the philosophy of science. Next, the course offers a thorough discussion of the design principles of experiments. This part of the course concludes with a lecture on the analysis of experimental data.

The second part of the course turns to the study of some selected literature in experimental economics through the presentation of a number of well-known papers in the following key research areas: cooperation, coordination, industrial organization, field experiments and experiments using data from sports tournaments.


Students are expected to actively participate in the discussions, as well as to prepare and present a written assignment/paper. Based on the discussions in class, students should come up with a draft of an experimental project, consisting of the following elements: research idea, related literature, experimental design, hypotheses and expected results. Students will present their projects in class (date tba). This presentation will account for 30% of the grade. The remaining 70% will be based on the written assignment that they hand in. The deadline for the assignment is Sunday, February 28, 2016.



  • This course is for MBR-students only
  • The course is held as a block seminar in English
  • Attendence to all lectures of the course is mandatory
  • The number of participants is limited to 20
  • Suggested readings for the course and a list of relevant literature will be given in class and included in the lecture slides
Dates Monday, 05.10.2015, 12:00-14:00 & 16:00-18:00, Lehrturm Prof. Huberplatz 2, room V 002.
Tuesday, 06.10.2015, 10:00-14:00, Lehrturm Prof. Huberplatz 2, room V 002.
Wednesday, 07.10.2015, 10:00-12:00 & 14:00-16:00, Lehrturm Prof. Huberplatz 2, room V 002.
Thursday, 08.10.2015, 10:00-12:00 & 14:00-16:00, Hauptgebäude Geschwister-Scholl Platz, M001.
Day with student presentations: Saturday, 5.12.2015, 10:00-18:00, Room V 002.
Credits 2 SWS in module A/I (Methods Course)
Examination Presentation (30%)
Written assignment (70%) due to Sunday, February 28, 2016.

Further Information

Dainis Zegners, Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 6111,