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Experimental Methods

Module description


This course covers the fundamental principles guiding the design of economics experiments, including the methodology of economics experiments, as well as statistical issues inherent to the design of experiments. It also provides an introduction to the standard statistical tools used in economics experiments, as well as training in the Stata statistical software package.

Additional Information:


Economics experiments have entered the mainstream of empirical social science and are a tool applicable anywhere in the world.


All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter learning Environment).


You will acquire the ability to empirically research most economic problem using a systematic approach. You will also develop a logical attitude towards the solution of problems, and confidence in identifying, calculating and solving research problems. These valuable skills will help you in employment in the fields of academia, government, international organisations or consultancy.  

Full module specification

Module title:Experimental Methods
Module code:BEEM127
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Cecilia Chen - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to experimental economics methodology, to equip you with the necessary know-how to design a laboratory and/or field experiment, as well as the necessary statistical skills to be able to correctly evaluate the outcomes of the experiment.

Furthermore, you will be expected to become familiar with the methods of experimental economics.

You will learn to design and conduct an economics experiment, as well as learn how to evaluate the data generated by the experiment.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. be familiar with the methodology of and recent developments in experimental economics
  • 2. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the statistical techniques required to evaluate experimental data, through the use of Stata
  • 3. be able to design and conduct an economics experiment

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. evaluate how economic theories are developed and tested

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. understand how to design an experiment geared to test the impact of a policy
  • 6. produce high quality work (whether in a group or individually) in written form
  • 7. engage in critical thought and reasoned discussion

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching 22Lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching 11Seminars

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly exercises3-5 questions per bi-weekly1-7Written or verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay60Maximum length 10 x A4 pages1-5Written or verbal
Assignment Presentation4020 - 30 mins1-5Written or verbal

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assignment Essay and presentationAssignment essay and presentation slides1-5August

Syllabus plan

  • Induced value theory
  • Parametric and non-parametric tests of treatment effects
  • Regression analysis applied to experimental data
  • Sample size and power calculations
  • Learning and Repeated Interaction
  • Identifying preferences
  • Meta-analysis of experimental data
  • Ethics in experimental economics

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Friedman, D. and Sunder, S. 1994. Experimental Methods: A Primer for Economists. Cambridge University Press.

Friedman, D. and Cassar, A. 2004. Economics Lab: An Intensive Course in Experimental Economics. Routledge.

Guala, F. 2005. The Methodology of Experimental Economics. Cambridge University Press.

Bardsley, N. et al., Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules. Princeton University Press.

Sheskin, D. 2000. Handbook of Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Procedures 3rd ed. London: Chapman & Hall

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