Identification Through Experiments

ECS564 Identification Through Experiments

Spring 2020

  • Topics

    The course presents advanced topics in behavioral and experimental economics. The emphasis will be on how we can use of lab and field experiments to address questions related to charitable giving and gender differences in the labor market. We will discuss how experiments help determine why we give to charity; how solicitation strategies influence donations to organizations; and how knowledge of motives for giving are essential when determining an optimal solicitation strategy.

    Further, in discussing gender differences in the labor market we will examine the role experiments have had in understanding why men continue to be more successful than women in climbing the corporate ladder. We will discuss the literature on gender differences in competition and negotiation, as well as that on allocations of non-promotable task. In uncovering the drivers of these gender differences, we will uncover mechanisms that can be put in place to secure that the best qualified candidates are those promoted.

    The course will consist of ten lectures over four days. The students will also be given the opportunity to present their own research.

  • Learning outcome


    • critically evaluate the experimental design in research papers
    • identify the frontier in gender and charitable giving research


    • use field and lab experiments to analyze economic problems
    • combine theory and experiments to study economic mechanisms

    General competence:

    • explain gender discrimination in society
    • explain charitable giving behavior

  • Teaching

    10 plenary lectures and student presentations.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Knowledge of behavioral and experimental economics at the master level.

  • Requirements for course approval


  • Assessment

    Approved individual term paper (approximately 15 page), covering a topic related to the course, submitted by the end of October 2019.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    The course will build on research papers in behavioral and experimental economics. 


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2019.

Course responsible

Course responsible: Professor Bertil Tungodden, Department of Economics.

Lecturer: Professor Lise Vesterlund, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.