ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Experiments in Economics and Social Sciences


HOLLARD Guillaume

Département : Economics


This course presents the tools and topics of experimental economics. We will try to present both “classical” experimental economics, based on lab experiments, as well as more recent applications outside the lab: field experiments, randomized experiments, etc. New tools, like neuroeconomics, will also be presented. The course insists on the methodology of experimental economics. It involves a lot of students’ participation since almost all classes include an experiment played by students. The second half of the course will be adapted to the audience since several topics can be covered according to students own research interests.

The final grade is composed of :
-  80% with the final exam grade
-  20% with the grade obtained at a presentation made during the semester.


I. General introduction
a. What is experimental economics
b. The classics
c. Three types of lab experiments

II. Games and experiment 1:
a. The beauty contest and level-k;
b. The centipede game and quantal response
c. Comparing different models

III. Social preferences

IV. Decision and experiment 1:
a. The endowment effect
b. Risk and Time

V. The lab and the field

VI. Additional topics (to be chosen under time constraints)
i. Gender
ii. Confusion
iii. More on social preferences
iv. Financial markets and behavioral finance
v. Risk and uncertainty
vi. Time

VII. What’s next? Roads for the future:
a. Neuroeconomics
b. Mechanical Turk
c. Behavioral field experiments
d. Transferability of experimental results and scaling up


- Camerer, C. (2003). Behavioral game theory: Experiments in strategic interaction. Princeton University Press.
- Kagel, J. H., & Roth, A. E. (1995). The handbook of experimental economics (pp. 501-85). Princeton, NJ: Princeton university press. (the new version is expected any time soon)