ECON42400 Experiments in Economics

Academic Year 2019/2020

This module provides a detailed overview of the key methods for examining causal relationships and testing theoretical mechanisms in behavioural economics. The module is divided into two sections. Firstly, we examine the use of lab experiments in behavioural economics. Secondly, we examine randomised controlled field trials. The module will cover all aspects of conducting a lab/field experiment including study design, ethical approval, randomisation, power analysis, measurement, analysis, and validity. Through the assignment, students will have the opportunity to conduct a lab/field experiment in our behavioural lab and/or working with our implementation partners. The aim of the assignment is to apply the theoretical frameworks covered in the module to the practical application of a lab/field experiment. Tutorials will provide practical advice on how to conduct an experiment from inception to completion.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, the students will attain the following learning outcomes:
- Detailed understanding of the key experimental and causal methods in behavioural economics.
- Knowledge of application of key causal methods across academic literatures and policy/business.
- Critical engagement with key methodological debates on causal methods.
- Understanding of the strengths and limitations of each method.
- Practical experience in conducting a lab/field experiment.

Indicative Module Content:

Note these topics are indicative only and may be subject to change.

Module Overview & Field Experiments: Introduction to Randomised Controlled Trials I
Field Experiments: Introduction to Randomised Controlled Trials II
Field Experiments: Methods of Randomisation
Field Experiments: Power Analysis & Sample Size
Field Experiments: Measurement &Analysis
Field Experiments: More Analysis & Threats to Validity
Naturalistic Experiments
Lab Experiments: A Moment of Creation (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979)
Lab Experiments: Laboratory “Exhibits” in Behavioural Economics
Lab Experiments: Designing Lab Experiments for Strong Inference
Risk, Time, and Social Preferences

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Multiple different teaching and learning approaches will be used in this module including reflective learning, class discussion, lectures and critical writing. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Design, conduct, and write-up a lab/field experiment Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: End of semester exam based on material covered in lectures/readings/assignment 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Margaret Samahita Lecturer / Co-Lecturer