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This occurrence is not offered in 2023
This course will provide students with an in-depth treatment of this increasingly popular method for testing and stimulating economic theory. The course aims to equip students in three main areas: to become familiar with experimental methods; learn some major areas of applications; and critically evaluate the potential and limitations of laboratory experimental research.
Economics 668 is an advanced course in experimental economics research methods. This course will provide students with an in-depth look at using randomised experiments to establish causal effects in economics and finance. Traditionally, economics and finance research has sought to test the predicted effect of a policy change on an outcome of interest using observational or survey data from households, firms, stock exchanges, or public organisations. Such tests face stringent challenges of identification – the need to control for reverse causation, or the effect of unobserved third factors on both the policy change and outcome of interest. Randomised experiments require instead that the researcher can assign agents across treatment conditions. Experiments are conducted in the lab, in the field, or recently in conjunction with “natural experiments” such as policy changes.The course aims to equip students in three ways: 1) to become familiar with principles of sound experimental methods, 2) learn some major areas of application in economics and finance, and 3) critically evaluate the potential and limitations of randomised experiments. Regarding methods, we will discuss experimental design and common statistical techniques for analysing results, including standard panel regression techniques but also nonparametric tests. Applications will be discussed in areas such as: voluntary public good provision, bargaining, financial markets and behavioural finance, environmental economics, and individual choice under uncertainty. Finally, students should learn to critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of individual experiments, and more generally the extent to which we can use the results of lab, field or hybrid field/natural experiments to predict the behaviour of real world markets and people.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.
Domestic fee $1,037.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Department of Economics and Finance