Experimental Economics

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
25 October 2023


Requisites for this module
EC402 and EC403 and EC903



Key module for

MSC L11912 Behavioural and Experimental Economics,
MSC L11924 Behavioural and Experimental Economics,
MSC L119EB Behavioural and Experimental Economics,
MSC L119JS Behavioural and Experimental Economics,
MSC L119UH Behavioural and Experimental Economics

Module description

This postgraduate module equips students with the tools to critically access experimental methods commonly used in economics.

Students will put their theoretical knowledge into practice, learning how to design experiments and interpret their results. For this, students will be grouped into teams who will collaborate to design an experiment and present it in class. Students will also critically assess another group's experimental design.

Module aims

The aim of this module is:

  • To introduce students to experimental methods in economics with a focus on issues and principles of experimental design.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations and assumptions of experimental methods in economics.

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts and terminology used in experimental research.

  3. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of applying experimental methods in economic research.

  4. Demonstrate understanding of and apply basic principles of experimental design, conduct and analysis.

  5. Demonstrate ability to critically evaluate experimental designs.

Module information

With a growing interest in behavioural considerations, experiments are increasingly used not only in psychology, but also economics and political science. Recognizing the value of controlled variation to study causal relationships, large companies also increasingly use "A-B testing".


  • Introduction: The motivation of experimental research.

    • Topics: Introduction to experimental methods.

      • Economics as an experimental science.

      • Strengths and weaknesses of the experimental method.

      • Field vs. laboratory experiments:- Causality, missing counterfactual and randomization - Induced value theory.

  • Experimental Design

    • Topics:

      • Classical paradigms.

      • Common treatment variations and their motivations.

      • Additional design choices such as matching protocol, within vs between designs, repetition and payment methods.

      • Statistical aspects of experimental design in experimental economics: power calculations, randomization techniques.

      • Logistics and ethics of experiments

  • Analysis of experimental data.

    • Topics:

      • Hypothesis testing.

      • Non-parametric tests for matched and independent samples.

  • Presentation of own experimental designs.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • One 1-hour class per week in the Economics department.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Participation     
Coursework   Discussion of other people's presentations     
Coursework   Presentation      
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Dennie Van Dolder, email:
Lectures & Classes: Dr Dennie Van Dolder
For further information, send an email message to



External examiner

Dr Domenico Moro
university of Birmingham
Available via Moodle
Of 580 hours, 29 (5%) hours available to students:
551 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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