This course can only be taken jointly with course 5631 Experimental Methods in Business and Economics II. The description below applies to both courses jointly.
This course is meant to develop and deepen students’ understanding of the experimental method of investigation in economics and business research. It is being offered at the PhD level. In the course we will review questions of experimental design and implementation as well as appropriate procedures of subject recruitment, programming tools, statistical and econometric analysis of experimental data, and other methodological issues in experimental economics. Importantly, students will develop their own experimental pilot project, from design over programming and the actual implementation to the analysis and write-up of a research paper.
After the course, students will be familiar with all aspects of design and implementation of experiments, such as recruiting, ethics, programming, and the conduct of experimental sessions; and will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the experimental method, to evaluate the appropriateness of this method to study certain research questions, to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the method, to write an academic paper on an experimental research project and its outcomes, and to present an experimental design, its implementation, and experimental results to a professional audience.
It is expected that students attend all lectures and meetings, and undertake all assignments and tasks.
Lectures will be held in English. The lectures will cover important methodological and practical skills required to employ the experimental method to economic questions, such as experimental design, ethics, recruitment, programming, data analysis, and presentation and write-up of results. The lectures are paralleled by individual experimental pilot projects to be developed, conducted and analyzed by students. Students can decide to base their project on one of a number of existing research papers and test a variation of the original design, or to develop their own ideas. On three occasions each student will be asked to present her/his experimental pilot project: as experimental idea, a final experimental design, and as results of the experiment. In the term paper, the student is expected to describe and analyze their experimental pilot project. The student will write a short critical review of the related literature, develop and justify an experimental design proposal, analyze the data from a pilot session on their project, and derive conclusions with respect to their research question.
Grading will rely on in-class presentations and a research paper. Out of the three in-class presentations (experimental idea, final experimental design, results of the experiment) only the latter two presentations will be market, with a weight of 10% and 20% for the overall mark, respectively. The weight of the research paper towards the final mark will be 70%, since it represents the sum of all efforts made during the overall course. Marking will be based on proficiency in tools and methods, as well as creativity, innovation, logic and justification of arguments.