The University of Southampton
Courses

ECON1014 Economics with Experiments

Module Overview

The Department of Economics has a strong expertise in experimental methods. The module proposed, Economics with Experiments, will enable students to capitalize on the strengths of the department. The objective of this module is to teach students the principles of economics with experiments that are effective and enjoyable to move students away from passive learning.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

On completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of economics, identify and evaluate the assumptions underlying economics models, recognize that economic problems can be viewed from many angles, and can be remedied in different ways depending on the existing conditions and the intrinsic philosophy.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of economics
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the prevalent tools in macroeconomics, microeconomics, industrial organisation, behavioural economics and game theory
  • Receive 'hands on' training via carefully designed experiments tailored to the description of the economics notion delivered.
  • Assess the implications of the simplications of economic theory

Syllabus

The module provides an introduction to four important areas of economics. The first focuses on macroeconomics notions and issues. The second and third areas focus on microeconomics and industrial organization applications. Finally, the fourth area focuses on behavioural economics and game theory. As far as the structure of the module, students will first participate in an experiment and, then, study the related economic theory and its applications. While participating in the economic experiment, students will observe the economic principles in action. After each experiment, we will gather and analyze the data. In the subsequent lecture, we will present the economic theories to explain the principles students discovered in the laboratory. The content is innovative in two distinct ways. First, the module will cover all important areas of economics at an introductory level. Thus, it will serve the purpose of attracting students with no intention of pursuing a degree of economics but are interested in learning, at an elementary level, the bare essentials of the “economic way” of thinking. Second, the syllabus is innovative in the sense that it will engage students in active learning, to exploit their natural curiosity about economic affairs, and to get them to ponder the questions before we try to give them answers. We found that conducting experiments in class, with discussions before, during, and after the experiments is an effective and enjoyable way of moving from passive learning to active learning.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will consist of laboratory experiments that require the participation of the students themselves and lectures. Laboratory experiments will engage students in active learning and familiarize them with the “economic way” of thinking. Lectures will provide the basic information in each topic and will form the foundation for further reading on an individual basis. The incorporation of laboratory experiments is truly innovative in that it provides “hands-on” training to the student in a way that complements the instruction of theoretical notions. In addition, all experiments will be interactive and pleasant.

TypeHours
Independent Study120
Teaching30
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Attendance and engagement 20%
Coursework 80%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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