Uni Hamburg: PhD Course Behavioral & Experimental Economics

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

November 22nd, 2019; November 27th, 2019; March 27th, 2020.

The last session will take place either in May or June 2020, and will be scheduled in the second meeting.

Time 10am—4pm
Place Universität Hamburg (more details follow)
Instructor Prof. Dr. Markus Nöth and Prof. Dr. Guido Voigt (both UHH)
Teaching language English
Credit Points 2 SWS/5 LP
Registration kathrin.marina.heim@uni-hamburg.de

(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 par- ticipate 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 present and 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 exper- imental design. Alternatively, for participants who do not plan to conduct their own experi- ments, a second paper will be reviewed.

Participants have the option to take a research ethics training (https://about.citipro- gram.org/en/homepage/) that becomes increasingly important to conduct research projects with colleagues from the Unites States and in the European Union. 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, hu- man 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


Basic background in microeconomics, game theory and statistics.

Student evaluation:

  • Presentation and critical discussion of one or two experimental papers,
  • Optional but encouraged: experiment design presentation (extended summary on eco- nomic question, relevant literature, hypotheses, design: presentation with 10 slides or max. five pages extended abstract); running a pilot experiment


Schedule (tentative) 

Day Topics Suggested Readings
1st Session Introduction to the field

Game theoretic models, critical as- sumptions, Behavioral Models and Research Hypothesis

Laboratory Experiments

Katok (2018)
2nd Session Presentation and discussion of as- signed papers.

Statistics & Design Choices IRB, Field-Experiments

Hyndman, K. and Embrey, M. (2018)
3rd Session Presentation of research (Problem De- scription, Research Hypothesis, Exper- imental design)

Visit of WiSo-Experimentallabor (z- Tree, Eye-Tracking, etc.)

4th Session Presentation of pilot studies (Note: Pilot studies need to be scheduled in- dependently by participants)

Suggested readings before the course:

Katok, E. (2018) Designing and Conducting Laboratory Experiments, pages: 1-33 in Donohue, K.; Katok, E.; Leider, S. (Hg.). The handbook of behavioral operations. John Wiley & Sons, 2018. (online available)

Hyndman, K. and Embrey, M. (2018) Econometrics for Experiments, pages: 35-88 in Donohue, K.; Katok, E.; Leider, S. (Hg.). The handbook of behavioral operations. John Wiley & Sons, 2018. (online available)


Other useful resources:

Baum, C. F. (2006) An introduction to modern econometrics using Stata. Stata press Camerer, C (2003) Behavioral Game Theory, Princeton University Press.

Holt, C. (2019), Markets, Games, and Strategic Behavior: A First Course in Experimental Economics, 2nd edition, Princeton Universtity Press

Kagel, J. and A. Roth (1995) Handbook of Experimental Economics, Princeton University Press.

Sheskin, D. J. (2011) Handbook of parametric and nonparametric statistical procedures. 5. ed. CRC Press.

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