With the generous support from IFREE, ESI develops software and distributes it free of charge to teachers interested in using economic experiments in their classrooms. Please contact Bart Wilson for a password to download the software.
This program contains three streamlined experiments discussed in the paper “Discovering Economics in the Classroom with Experimental Economics and the Scottish Enlightenment” by Taylor Jaworski, Vernon
Smith and Bart Wilson, which is published in the International Review of Economics Education. This paper describes a curriculum for teaching economics that draws connections to the Scottish Enlightenment through the use of economic experiments. The key features of the curriculum are the low technology requirements, complete instructions for running the experiment and debriefing the results, and a guide for teacher-led round-table discussions motivated by the Scottish philosophers. The main goals are to present economic principles to young students in a way that is both exciting and accessible, while emphasizing the discovery process underlying the wealth of nations since the Industrial Revolution (Smith 1776). The first program illustrates the gains from specialization and exchange in a production and consumption experiment (Crockett, Smith, and Wilson 2009). Second, as Smith (1982) discusses, the classic oral double-auction demonstrates how a price mechanism spontaneously orders the buying and selling decisions of individuals with dispersed and private knowledge of their personal circumstances (for the first published double-auction experiment, see Smith 1962). Finally, the extensive form game experiment illustrates the prevalence and success of trust and reciprocity in modern contexts that are otherwise apparently dominated by impersonal self-interested exchange in markets (McCabe, Rigdon, and Smith 2003).
*Dot Net 3.5 must be installed for the software to operate.
These programs require a computer for each student, running Windows XP connected via a local area network, and one computer for the monitor:
The programming example provides the source code for the Ultimatum Game. It is written in Visual Basic 6. The example assumes you are familiar with Visual Basic 6 or have some basic programming knowledge. If you don’t, it’s recommended that you get a book on the subject. Amazon typically has a large selection of books on VB6.