students in classroomJan. 7th-11th
, the Economic Science Institute, with a generous grant from the 
International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE)
, hosted 23 doctoral students from universities all over the world for the 19th Visiting Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics. In a series of 10 sessions, the students first participated in an economic experiment as a naive subject would and then afterwards discussed with the faculty member the research questions and methods of the project. Presenting faculty, from Chapman except where noted, included: Sarah Brosnan (Georgia State University), Terrence Burnham, Gabriele Camera, Cary Deck (University of Arkansas), Kevin McCabe (George Mason University), Jared Rubin, Timothy Shields, Vernon Smith, Greg Waymire (Emory University), Nathaniel Wilcox, and Bart Wilson.  The topics of the modules covered a broad range of applications, including the biological foundations of economics, contracts, and game theory of contests and monetary policy. Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson, the workshop director, also led Socratic roundtable discussions for which the students had in advance read essays and selections of writings by W.S. Jevons, F.A. Hayek, and Adam Smith (
The Theory of Moral Sentiments
). The students left the workshop with a deeper appreciation for the philosophy of economic science, insights into the practical skills for conducting experimental research, and a broader exposure to new questions that researchers are exploring with economic experiments.

Here is what participants had to say about the workshop:

  • “I think the workshop is done very well.  The opportunity to be a subject is really great.  Being a subject has actually changed my perspective as an experimental researcher. I would definitely recommend this workshop.”
  • “The networking was an amazing opportunity to meet future colleagues. The information presented was new and cutting edge. I acquired an immense amount of new knowledge. The presenters were super open to answering our questions.”
  • “The entire week was a great thought experiment.  Acting as a subject and guessing what the experiment was meant to measure and then hearing the real explanation was great.  Sharing ideas and hearing a diverse set of others was great and is one of the more important things academics can do.”

For more information on conferences, graduate and high school level workshops, and the Summer Scholar program hosted at the Economic Science Institute, please visit the Economic Science Institute’s home page. Economic Science Institute student on step of Wilkinson Hall