University of Hamburg – Behavioral & Experimental Economics (PhD Course)

(The course takes place on four Fridays. Sessions are scheduled in both the winter term and the summer term, such that participants have sufficient time to develop and run their experiments)

14th December 2018, 18th January 2019, 22nd February, 7th June

10:00 – 16:00 h

Universität Hamburg (more details follow)

Course Instructor: Prof. Dr. Markus Nöth and Prof. Dr. Guido Voigt (both UHH)

Course Value: 2 SWS or 5 LP

Teaching language: English

Registration:, (First come, first-served)

The main goal of this course is to introduce the design and implementation of both laboratory and field experiments in various fields of Economics and Business Administration. PhD students who have some experience with or who consider to set up an experiment are welcome to participate in this course.

First, we will identify different research questions for a laboratory or a field experiment. We start with discussing critical theory assumptions. We then show how research hypotheses can be inferred from behavioral models and how these hypotheses may be tested in lab or field studies.

Second, participants will critically discuss an experimental paper (either provided by us or self-selected) that is instructive for their own research field.

Third, participants will develop an experimental design and conduct a pilot experiment
that is run in class. We introduce basic statistics along with a discussion how they relate
to the experimental design.

Participants have the option to take a research ethics training ( that becomes increasingly important to conduct research projects with colleagues from the Unites States. All students will learn the basic requirements of a human subjects committee.

Some topics:

  • Identify a suitable research question for an experiment
  • Ethical and scientific standards: historical and scientific reasons, consent requirements,
    human subjects committee, special requirements (children, elderly people, inmates, …), data collection and evaluation
  • Individual and group experiments in the laboratory
  • Surveys and internet experiments
  • Field experiments in cooperation with a company

Schedule (tentative)

Day Topics Suggested Readings
1st SessionIntroduction to the field

Game theoretic models, critical assumptions, Behavioral Models and
Research Hypothesis

Laboratory Experiments
Katok 2012
2nd SessionPresentation and discussion of assigned papers.

Statistics & Design Choices

IRB, Field-Experiments
Baum 2006,
Sheskin 2011
3rd SessionPresentation of research (Problem Description, Research Hypothesis, Experimental design)

Visit of Experimentallabor (z-Tree, Eye-Tracking, etc.)
4th SessionPresentation of pilot studies (Note: Pilot studies need to be scheduled independently by participants)

Basic background in microeconomics, game theory and statistics.

Student evaluation:

  • Critical discussion of an experimental paper, experiment design presentation (extended summary on economic question, relevant literature, hypotheses, design: presentation with max. 10 slides or max. five pages extended abstract).
  • Running a pilot experiment is optional, but encouraged.

Recommended Texts:
Statistical analysis
Baum, C. F. 2006. An introduction to modern econometrics using Stata. Stata press
Camerer, C, 2003, Behavioral Game Theory, Princeton University Press.
Kagel, J. and A. Roth, 1995, Handbook of Experimental Economics, Princeton University
Sheskin, D. J. 2011. Handbook of parametric and nonparametric statistical procedures.
5. ed. CRC Press.
How to design laboratory experiments
Katok, E. 2012. Using laboratory experiments to build better operations management
models. Foundations and trends in technology, information and operations management 5(1) 1–88.

Other material (e.g., papers to be presented etc.) will be distributed once we know
who participates