Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module ECON434JN: Experimental Economics and Finance

Department: Economics and Finance

ECON434JN: Experimental Economics and Finance

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to N3K109J
Tied to N3K209J


  • None.


  • EITHER Advanced Financial Theory (ECON412JN) OR Advanced Microeconomics (ECON447JN)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop specialised knowledge in theories of behavioural economics and finance, and test these theories using methods in experimental economics.


  • The module is designed to combine the behavioural approach in economics and finance with active classroom experiments. These experiments illustrate simple economic situations, such as markets or auctions, and are used to highlight several economic ideas. We will critically review studies of economic behaviour in markets, bargaining, auctions, game theory, and public choice. We will also discuss key aspects of individual behaviour in isolation, in particular choice under uncertainty and choice over time.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • have a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of experimental methods in economics;
  • have a critical understanding of methodological considerations including sample design and selection, design of experimental treatments, incentives, control and psychological biases.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • be able to critically evaluate experiments in economics run in the lab and the field, and the resulting behavioural insights and theoretical predictions;
  • be able to design experimental treatments that can identify and test these predictions;
  • be able to critically reflect on sample design and self-selection into experiments.
Key Skills:
  • Analytical and statistical understanding
  • Written communication
  • Planning and organisation

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • A combination of lectures, seminars and guided reading will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module.
  • Classroom experiments will be an essential part of teaching.
  • The summative examination will be designed to test the students’ critical knowledge and understanding of experimental methods, methodological considerations, and outcomes including their ability to design and critically reflect on appropriate experimental treatments. This will be an open book examination.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 1 per week 2 hours 18
Seminars 4 1 per fortnight 1 hour 4
Preparation & Reading 126
Revision Session 1 2 hours 2
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive formative feedback in a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University