30L302 :Experimental and Behavioral Economics

General info

Instruction language English
Type of Instruction 2 x 2 hours of interactive lectures per week, experiments (Lecture schedule)
Type of exams written exam (60%), project (30%), and participation (10%) (Examination schedule)
Course load:6 ECTS credits
Registration:Via blackboard
Blackboard InfoLink to Blackboard (When you see 'Guest are not allowed in this course', please login at Blackboard itself)


prof. dr. E.C.M. van der Heijden (Coordinator)

prof. dr. J.J.M. Potters


In this course economic experiments as a tool for economic analysis are introduced. After completing the course, students should be able to formulate a research question, to design and conduct a simple economic experiment related to a research question, to analyze the data, and to report the results. In addition, students are able to illustrate the most important successes and failures of the rational choice model. and they have learned how behavioral economics uses the insights from experiments to develop better models of behavior. Students can discuss methodological issues and  pply statistical methods to analyze data.


This course illustrates the important role of experiments for economic analysis. The main principles and advantages of the experimental method are outlined. Student will participate in experiments and are expected to take an active role in class discussions. The most important results from experimental research will be reviewed and discussed. It turns out that these results are often at odds with the predictions that are based on assumptions of full rationality and pure self-interest. Therefore, the course will introduce the field of behavioral economics, which takes the limitations of the rational choice model seriously and combines insights from economics and psychology to develop more realistic and more relevant models of behavior. Applications include the attitude of people toward risk and time, behavior in games and markets, and the role of fairness and equity for economic interactions. In addition, it is explained how experimental data can be analyzed, where the focus is on non-parametric statistical tests. Students are required to design and conduct an experiment themselves, analyze the results, and write a paper reporting the experiment.  


The final mark consists of 60% written exam, 30% project, and 10% class participation. Students can only pass the course if they have completed the student project and if they achieve a score of at least 4.5 on the final exam. The project mark is based on the paper, the experimental design, and the conduct of the experiment. Repeaters have to take the entire course again, including all experiments and the student project.

Compulsory Reading

  1. To be announced.

Recommended Reading

  1. To be announced.

Recommended Prerequisites

Statistics 1, Econometrics

Recommended option for