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Seminar: An Introduction to Experiments in Business and Economics Research


Title:  An Introduction to Experiments in Business and Economics Research.
WUSEL-ID: 181WIR014005
Teacher: Werner Bönte, Diemo Urbig 
Target: Doctoral students and advanced Master students


This seminar is officially listed as a doctoral seminar according to the Ph.D. regulations (09.06.2008 and 21.02.2013, §7(1)).



Across the many disciplines of social sciences, experimental methods have become a valuable tool to empirically assess theoretical hypotheses. The purpose of this course is to provide broad exposure and guidance to the research opportunities available using experiments to explore questions in management and economic research. We acknowledge the diversity resulting from multiple disciplinary traditions in research employing experiments, specifically economics as well as psychology and management. This course aims at familiarizing students with experimental methods across different research streams in a reflective way and, thereby, enables cross-disciplinary fertilization, helping students develop the skills necessary to critically evaluate experimental research, finding the right research method for their questions, and to understand the limits of the experimental research method.

The discussion will cover topics such as:

-        Causal Inference and behavioral measures

-        Types of experiments (field, lab, classroom, within-subject, between-subject, ….)

-        Generalization

-        Creating awareness for disciplinary traditions, use and misuse of interdisciplinary approaches

-        Incentive-compatibility and framing

-        Mediation

-        Manipulations as instruments: string, weak, and non-instrumental manipulations.

-        Data analyses

-        Discussion of a specific experimental designs

The seminar will result in a seminar paper written jointly by up to three participants.




Time and location

Day 1, 3h + 3h

a+b) Methodological background

4. May 2018



Day 2, 3h + 3h

a) Methodological background

b) Introduction of cases

18. May 2018



Day 3 3h + 3h

a) Student presentations

b) Discussion

22. June 2018







Main references

Gerber, A. S., & Green, D. P. (2012) Field Experiments. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (

JEBO (2010). On the Methodology of Experimental Economics. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1 – special issue), 1-132. (

Additional references will be provided.