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The University of Southampton
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ECON1018 Economics with Experiments

Module Overview

This module will familiarise students with some fundamental insights and principles in economics through participating, analysing and discussing experiments and it will introduce students to experimental methods as used in economics. This is done by using the modern tool of economic experiments in order to explore and illustrate central topics in economics. This module complements ECON1001/ECON1003 and ECON1002 by enabling students to experience central concepts in economics in an interactive way.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • central concepts of microeconomics in theory and practice
  • deviations from expected equilibrium behaviour in actual behaviour in experiments
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • abstract the essential features of complex systems and provide a useable framework for basic analysis in form of simple games.
  • apply formal logic to solve simple games
  • derive the optimal and equilbrium behaviour in simple games
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify, select and access a range of sources to develop and present arguments and evidence in the form of critical essays
  • collaborate with others and identify problems and strategies for the achievement of common goals both practically in experiments and group work and analytically in assignments.
  • communicate logical arguments and quantitative reasoning through discussion in class and in form of an essay;

Syllabus

This module will use the modern tool of economic experiments in order to explore important topics in economics, such as the functioning of markets, economic inequality and redistribution, human coordination and cooperation, behaviour in risky environments, evidence-based behavioural economic policy, and more. For each topic, students will first participate in an economic experiment. The experience of participating in economic experiments in small, laboratory sessions will provide first-hand experience of economic problems as modelled and understood by economists. We will then discuss the results of the experiment, the economic theories that try to explain the observed behaviour, and some economic applications to which the experiment tries to bring insights.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, masterclasses and experiments, both in the classroom and in the Social Sciences Experimental Laboratory of the University of Southampton. 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
Lecture12
Tutorial12
Specialist Laboratory 6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

D.K. Levine (2012). Is Behavioural Economics Doomed? The ordinary versus the Extraordinary. 

D. Kahnemann (2012). Thinking, fast and slow. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Continuous participation in experiments, a take-home problem set and an essay (4000 words) prepared in groups. This is supported by formative assessment in form of problem sets. There is no final exam. This is the same for internal repeats. Referral and external repeat assessment are through 100% individual essay.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay  (4000 words) 50%
Coursework assignment(s) 30%
Experiment 20%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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