Accessibility statement

This is a site created for my doctoral course at the University of Bari, Autumn 2022.

It will be added to as the course proceeds.


Lectures (all 9.00 to 12.00)

I suggest you take a quick look at each lecture before I give it. I will update them as the course proceeds. Please make sure you look at the latest version.

  1. Lecture 1 (MS PowerPoint , 865kb) Friday the 4th November
  2. Lecture 2 (MS PowerPoint , 95kb) Monday the 7th of November
  3. : Lecture 3 (MS PowerPoint , 170kb) Wednesday the 9th of November  :
  4. Lecture 4 (MS PowerPoint , 695kb):  Friday the 11th of November
  5. : Lecture 5 (MS PowerPoint , 120kb) Monday the 14th of November
  6. : Lecture 6 (MS PowerPoint , 79kb) Wednesday the 16th of November


Papers referred to in the course

  1. Epstein and Ji (PDF , 778kb) You need to read this between the 3rd and 4th lectures.
  2. Mori et al wp 2020 (PDF , 276kb) You will need to read this before the third lecture.
  3. Grosh et al wp (PDF , 568kb) You will need to read this before the third lecture.
  4. Buso and Hey (PDF , 1,639kb) This is referred to in the fourth lecture.
  5. charness et al (PDF , 563kb). This is referred to in Lecture 4.
  6. Morone et al 2021 (PDF , 711kb) Discussed in lEcture 4.



Before or during the second lecture I would like you to try the following task which you can do individually or in (self-appointed) teams.

  1. Take the prisoner's dilemma game:
  2. "Two prisoners are accused of a crime. If one confesses and the other does not, the one who confesses will be released immediately and the other will spend 20 years in prison. If neither confesses, each will be held only a few months. If both confess, they will each be jailed 15 years”
  3. This is a simple game, with a clearly-specified Nash equilibrium – in which both confess.
  4. Design a simple experiment to investigate its empirical validity.
  5. Concentrate on the various possible outcomes (‘20 years’, ‘15 years’, ‘a few months’ and ‘released immediately’) and consider variations in them.
  6. Think about repetitions.
  7. Anticipate your data analysis.


Before the third lecture, try the following task:

I want you to smell* one of these two papers in teams and tell me what it was trying to do and whether it succeeded.

Labor Supply Reaction to Wage Cuts and Tax Increases: A Real-Effort Experiment” Mori, Kurokawa and Ohtake, NEP Experimental Economics. This an individual experiment. You can find the paper here: Mori et al wp 2020 (PDF , 276kb)

Selection into Leadership and Dishonest Behavior of Leaders: A Gender Experiment” Grosh, Muller, Rau and Zhurakhovska, NEP Experimental Economics. This is a group experiment. You can find the paper here: Grosh et al wp (PDF , 568kb)

* ‘smelling means reading superficially; the abstract; the conclusions; perhaps some experimental detail. Smelling is an important thing to learn.

You should addresss the following questions:

  1. What was the point of the experiment?
  2. Was the experimental implementation appropriate?
  3. Was the data analysis appropriate?
  4. Were there enough subjects?
  5. Were there enough tasks?
  6. Was the paper structured and written well?
  7. I will ask you to give your report at the start of the next lecture.


Before the fourth lecture, try the following task:

Look at the paper by Epstein and Ji, a copy of which you can find on the course website.

  1. This is a difficult paper to read and it is full of dense mathematics.
  2. It is about decision-making under ambiguity.
  3. It contains comparative static propositions [and also a precise optimal strategy for a DM with a particular preference functional (the maxmin model of ambiguity-averse preferences)].
  4. Much of the paper is dense mathematics, but there are clear results:
  5. [The solution for a maxmin DM is specified on the right-hand side of page 7 (equations 21 to 24)].
  6. The comparative static propositions are
  7. “Sampling time increases when (1) Cost c falls; (2) σ and α increase in such a way that α/σ2 is constant”
  8. (α is the drift in the Brownian Motion and σ is its dispersion; c is the cost of sampling)
  9. I would like you to design a simple experiment which focusses on the Comparative Static propositions of the paper.
  10. [Do not worry, at this stage about fitting the model  and seeing if it fits better than other models.]
  11. Describe the problem that subjects will be asked to tackle, and how they will be rewarded.
  12. Pay particular attention to the number of treatments you will use, and the values of the key parameters* in the various treatments.
  13. Describe how you would analyse the data.


Before the fifth lecture, try the following lask:

Read the paper for lecture 5 (PDF , 1,222kb) "Trust and social preferences: A cross-cultural experiment" by Angela Cristiane Santos Póvoa, Wesley Pech and Edinéia Woiciekovskia and look at the data for lecture 5 (MS Excel , 93kb). Be careful:note that the latter contains 4 worksheets, covering the 'Trust Game', the 'Dictator Game', the 'Original Dictator Game' and the 'Second Movers'. Ignore, as the paper does, the third and fourth worksheets.

In the conclusions, the authors write  "The goal was to see how subjects from a middle-income country behaved in both a trust game and a dictator game when they knew they had been paired with a subject from either a much richer or a much poorer country. We found that Brazilians transferred significantly more to both Mozambicans and Germans in the trust game than they did to other Brazilians. The reasons for these larger average transfers, however, were different. A post-experiment survey indicated that the most frequent reason given by Brazilian subjects for making large transfers to German subjects was that they trusted people from this country, whereas the most frequent reason for transferring large amounts to Mozambican trustees was that trustors wanted to help someone they believed to be significantly poorer than they were."

Do you agree with this conclusion?


Before the final (sixth) lecture, try the following task:

Each of you (this is an individual experiment!) will come up with an idea for an experiment. You should specify:

  1. The title preferably in the form of a question).
  2. The purpose of the experiment (more than just answering the question).
  3. The type of experiment.
  4. The software you might use (if any).
  5. How you might analyse the results.
  6. Where might you submit the finished paper.


John Hey

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