ECO474 Behavioral Economics: The Research Project

For this course all students are required to conduct an original research project resulting in a poster presentation and a formal paper. As a Critical Thinking Course, students are required to make a formal poster presentation on a designated day toward the end of the semester along with students from other CTC designated courses. In addition to this presentation, students are required to turn in a written paper at the end of the semester.

The Research Project

Students may work in groups of two to generate a testable hypothesis that has been independently generated through careful study of the course material.

Having developed a hypothesis, students will generate their own data from laboratory or field experiments. Projects will need a basic IRB approval once an experimental protocol is developed. Once the IRB has approved the project, subjects can be recruited and the experiment can be conducted.

Once data from the experiment has been collected, students need to analyze the results and present the results in a formal presentation and paper.  

Here are the requirements in bullet format:

a) formulate an interesting and testable hypothesis;

b) develop an experimental protocol;

c) recruit subjects;

d) conduct the experiment;

e) analyze the results;  

f) relate the results to the existing literature; and

g) submit a final paper/make a presentation.


Tips on how to do an empirical research project

How to get and develop an Idea: One option is to investigate some aspect of economic behavior by varying the environment in which subjects operate (for example, sellers may compete in one environment and then be allowed to collude in another). Alternatively, you might examine differences in behavior across populations (for example, are women more altruistic than men? or are children more or less rational than adults?).

How to design and conduct an Experiment

How and when to apply for IRB approval

The Criteria on which your presentation and paper will be graded: Rubrics

Examples of "Best Practice" Papers from past semseters