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UniversitÓ degli Studi di Trento

CEEL Summer school Second summer school

Second Trento Summer School

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CEEL program in Adaptive Economic Dynamics
18 - 29 June 2001
Second Trento Summer School
Intensive course in
Experimental Economics

Professor Daniel Friedman


Laboratory experiments with human subjects now provide crucial data in most fields of economics. In Europe and around the world, there is a tremendous upsurge in published articles, PhD dissertations and research projects in economics using laboratory techniques.
This summer course offers a comprehensive introduction to experimental method and technique for economics graduate students. It also surveys recent laboratory discoveries in industrial organization, bargaining, choice under certainty and other fields. Even more important, it gives each student the opportunity to launch a new research project under expert guidance.

This course is the second of a series in Adaptive Dynamic Economics offered by the Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory of the University of Trento (CEEL), supported by Associazione Tecnologie di Economia Computazionale e Sperimentale (TECS). The first Intensive Course in Computable Economics was offered by Professor Kumaraswamy Vela Velupillai of the University of Trento from 25 September to 6 October 2000 with guest lecture appearances by Professors Daniel Heymann, Scott Kelso and Francesco Luna. The course planned for 2002 will cover Adaptive Economic Systems and be conducted by Professor Peter Howitt of Brown University.

The Program in Adaptive Economic Dynamics intends to offer further intensive courses in Behavioral Economics, Institutional Economics and the Use of Simulation Methods in the Social Sciences.

This year's course will be conducted by Professor Daniel Friedman of the University of California, Santa Cruz. The course will provide an overview of the history and purposes of economics experiments. The rest of the course interweaves lectures on laboratory methods with surveys of laboratory results. Methods cover experimental control, emphasizing induced value theory; design, including the proper use of randomization and disposition of focus and nuisance variables; data analysis, including qualitative summaries as well as hypothesis tests; issues concerning human subjects and laboratory facilities; and project management.

This year's distinguished lecturer, Nobel Prize winner Reinhard Selten will discuss his new theory of impulse balance equilibrium, the laboratory evidence, and applications to auctions. Guest lecturers Massimo Egidi, Steffen Huck, and Rosemarie Nagel will survey discoveries in their fields, with supplementary coverage by the instructor. Likely topics include the mysterious efficiency of double auction markets; successes and failures of institutional design including spectrum auctions and California electricity markets; the successes and failures of game theory and learning theory in predicting bargaining behavior; and the promises and pitfalls of behavioral economics. Two lectures by Professor Peter Howitt will provide an introduction to next year's course.

The primary text is Laboratory Methods: A Primer for Economists by Friedman and Sunder, Cambridge University Press, 1994 (FS94 for short). A reader will contain the articles listed below. Secondary texts include Statistics for Experimenters, by Box, Hunter and Hunter (Wiley, 1978; BHH78 for short), and Experimental Economics, by Davis and Holt (Princeton University Press 1993; DH93). Useful websites will be listed in class, including one for the forthcoming Handbook of Experimental Economics Results by Plott and Smith (North-Holland 2001; PS01).


Program Director: Axel Leijonhufvud
Director of the School: Daniel Friedman
Guest Lecturers: Massimo Egidi, Peter Howitt, Steffen Huck, Rosemarie Nagel and Reinhard Selten
Laboratory Director: Luigi Mittone
Assistant Lecturer: Alessandra Cassar

The course is offered by the Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory CEEL of the University of Trento, with the financial support of Latsis Foundation (Geneva) and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto (Trento).

This is the second of a series of intensive courses to be offered by the Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory (CEEL).
Four future courses are planned in:
Adaptive Economic Processes (2002) - Lecturer: Professor Peter Howitt, Brown University.
Evolutionary Economic Dynamics (2003).
Behavioural Economics (2004).
Institutional Economics (2005).

Computable and Experimental Economics Laboratory (CEEL)
Dipartimento di Economia
Università degli Studi di Trento
Via Inama 5
I-38100 Trento
Fax: (+39) 0461-882222


Program of the School

Application Procedure
Biographical sketches of instructor and guest lecturers Application Form
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Department of Economics via Inama, 5 I-38100 Trento tel. +39 461 282201