What is Experimental Economics?

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The study of economics is largely speculative and many theories are based on assumptions that are hard to test in natural environments with adequate scientific vigour. Experimental economics takes theories and test them in the controlled environment of a laboratory. Experimenters typically devise a scenario – often referred to as a game – in which human subjects are required to respond to a series of questions either as an individual or as part of a group. To replicate real-world incentives, those participating in experiments usually receive cash rewards based on their responses.
While the majority of experiments simulate markets and auctions, experimental economics methodology is also used to study human behaviour more widely.

Visit the projects page to read a selection of articles about research experiments Melbourne University academics have been involved with at E2MU.