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NQF credits: 14

Fourth year status‚ second semester‚ one double lecture per week.

Course Convenor : Malcolm Keswell

Entrance requirements: See admissions requirements for Honours in Economics.

Course outline:

This course focuses on experiments in economics‚ including laboratory and field experiments‚ as well as randomised experiments and natural experiments. As such‚ this course will be of interest to students interested in behavioural economics‚ institutions and development. The first part of the course provides an overview of economic experiments‚ especially those that explore the role of fairness‚ generosity‚ trust and reciprocity in economic transactions. Are humans fair? Why do we often willingly trust strangers or cooperate with them even if those actions leave us vulnerable to exploitation? Does this natural inclination towards fairness or trust have implications in the marketplace? Traditional economic theory would perhaps think not‚ perceiving human interaction as self–interested at heart. There is increasing evidence‚ however‚ that social norms and norm–driven behaviour such as a preference for fairness‚ generosity or trust have serious implications for economics. We will look at how norm–driven behaviour can often lead to significantly different outcomes than those predicted by economic theories. In the second part of the course we will focus on the use of randomised experiments in development. Using many of the same design ideas embodied in lab and field experiments‚ randomised experiments aim to test some key ideas if the field of development economics‚ with the aim of improving development policy and enhancing welfare at the individual‚ household‚ community and national level. We will end the course by considering alternative evaluation options that one might rely on when randomisation is not possible.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment: Assignments‚ tests and examination count for 100%.

Last updated : 15 Jul 2015

Staff Members on this course :

A/Prof Malcolm Keswell Associate Professor

021 650 4876
5.19, The School of Economics, New Building, Middle Campus.
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Research Area / Interest :
Applied microeconomics ;the dynamics of inequality;agrarian contractual structure and productivity; group-level effects on individual incentives.

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