“I would strongly recommend [this workshop] to every PhD student in experimental economics. It was by far the best workshop I have ever attended.” Positive reviews from the 24th Visiting Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics.

The Economic Science Institute at Chapman University hosted 20 graduate students from around the world and 12 presenting faculty from Chapman and other universities. The purpose of the workshop is to expose graduate students to laboratory methods in economics.

Vernon Smith lecturing to the 2019 Graduate Workshop attendees

Vernon Smith during his lecture, Learning from Experiments That Fail to Confirm Beliefs: Three Cases.

In a series of 11 sessions, attendees participate in experiments and earn cash as a naive subject would. Experiments are immediately followed by a lecture about the experiment by the workshop faculty. Participants love this unique format with one student commenting, “I would definitely recommend this workshop to everyone, in fact, I already did. That was a great opportunity, a great experience. The idea of first being the participants and then to view the experiment from the side of the researcher – it’s amazing. I don’t think there is another such place.”

Chapman University professors Bart Wilson and Vernon Smith lead a colloquium discussion.

The workshop speakers and topics/experiments:

  • Jürgen Huber, University of Innsbruck – Risk Preferences and Market Prices
  • Cary Deck, University of Alabama and Chapman University – Comparing Techniques for Inducing Cognitive Load
  • Sarah Brosnan, Georgia State University – No-Instruction Games
  • Ryan Oprea, UC Santa Barbara – Dynamic-Stochastic Decision Making
  • Vernon Smith, Chapman University – Learning from Experiments That Fail to Confirm Beliefs: Three Cases
  • Bart Wilson, Chapman University – Colloquium Discussion
  • Roman Sheremeta, Case Western University – Behavior in Contests
  • Erik Kimbrough & Jared Rubin, Chapman University – Growing Cultures In the Lab
  • Gabriele Camera, Chapman University – Macro Experiments
  • Kevin McCabe, George Mason University – Computational Experimental Economics
  • Steven Gjerstad, Chapman University – General Equilibrium Asset Markets

The workshop participants had the opportunity to interact with the faculty throughout the week. Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson led a colloquium style discussion. New to this year’s workshop was scholar lunches, an opportunity for a small group of students to have lunch with a workshop presenter. During the lunch, presenters could go in to more detail about their current research and projects. Additionally, students could discuss their research ideas and receive advice and potential direction from the presenters. As one student put it, “I had a chance to have lunch with Vernon Smith… What else to say here…” The workshop ended with a dinner for the presenters and attendees.

Attendees in the ESI computer lab

Workshop attendees participate in experiments at the Economic Science Institute labs for cash.

Here is what some attendees had to say about the workshop:

  • “I would recommend the workshop because it was really well organized. Having the possibility to participate in so many experiments and then immediately afterwards hearing the insights about the experiment I just participated, was really helpful. I believe that this experience has positively benefited my future as a researcher.”
  • “It is a great learning experience for anyone who is going to be doing lab experiments. It is also a good opportunity to get to know other students and professors who are interested in the same things that you are, and that you might be able to collaborate with in the future. It is also a lot of fun.”
  • “This was a great way to network with other graduate students who I could definitely see myself working with in the future. It is also a great way to meet leading scholars in various focuses of the field that can act as mentors and potential colleagues going forward. On top of that, it really was fun and rich in learning opportunities for a plethora of experimental methodologies and designs. The inspiration for research questions was never in short supply.”

The annual workshop is free to attend and is generously sponsored in part by The International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE). For more information on the workshop and upcoming dates hosted at the Economic Science Institute, please visit the Economic Science Institute’s website.