June 25 – 29, 2018. A week-long workshop in experimental economics has high school students saying “Yes!” to studying economics in the future. How does this happen? A unique workshop format!Workshop Participants outside

Students enjoy the unique structure of first participating in experiments as naive subjects to earn cash. The experiments were followed by a presentation and discussion about the experiment and results. Unlike a typical lecture, students are encouraged to discuss and ask questions. Topics covered included game theory, markets, auctions, supply and demand, and prisoner’s dilemma. One student described the experimental approach as “really cool” and “definitely different from just sitting and listening to a lecture for hours like a classroom setting… a lot more immersive so I could understand the material better.” Another student described, “I thought the experimental approach to economics was amazing. I loved being able to connect what we were learning to real life situations.”

Students sitting on floor working on a group assignment

Students work with their peers to think critically and solve specific economic questions and problems.

Two students participating an an experiment

The annual Vernon L. Smith High School Workshop in Experimental Economics is hosted at the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University and sponsored by the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE) and Thomas W. Smith Foundation. The workshop is taught by Dr. Andrew Smyth, Assistant Professor of Economics at Marquette University. “We had a great group of talented, attentive students at this year’s workshop.  Listening to students passionately discuss economics right after participating in an experiment is always a treat.  Experiments make the economics ‘come alive’!” Smyth says.

The workshop students arrived with little to no exposure to economics and left with an eager interest to study economics in the future.Students outside interacting with each otherHere is what some workshop participants had to say about the workshop:

“It was very interesting to see how many people with little experience in economics were able to prove ideas that appeared to be complicated and hard to demonstrate”

“This workshop was absolutely phenomenal, based on the activities given and the teachings. The teacher was great at describing learning concepts and improved the learning experience by teaching us in non-traditional methods. I definitely recommend this workshop as it is a great method to learn economics concepts in a fun learning environment while providing positive incentives that keep lessons interesting and exciting.”

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.

Group photo from the workshop

The annual workshop is held on the Chapman University campus each summer and is free for students to attend.