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Experimental methods are widely used in many fields, including but not limited to labor, development, and public economics. Economists use experiments to answer wide-ranging questions, from testing economic theories to studying applied questions such as the role of bias in elections in India, or the impact of cognitive behavior therapy in reducing violent crime in the US. Experiments are increasingly being used in diverse ways within economics: to generate convincing causal evidence on the impact of social programs, to identify key parameters in structural models, or to reveal fundamental features of human preferences.

Economists at Michigan – both within and outside the department – are actively engaged in experimental economics. Many experimental economists are also doing research in behavioral economics, a field that uses insights from psychology to inform study of decision-making. Courses such as the Development field course feature dedicated segments to training students in experimental methods, and faculty often collaborate with graduate students on experimental research. Faculty at the School of Information regularly teach doctoral courses focused on experimental methods. These courses are regularly taken by Economics Department doctoral students who are interested in using experimental methods in their research. Economics students have also taken ad hoc field exams in the behavioral and experimental field.

Primary Appointment within the Economics Department



Primary Appointment outside the Economics Department

School of Information, & Institute for Social Research

School of Information

School of Information

Ross School of Business

School of Public Health

Ford School of Public Policy

Ross School of Business

Ross School of Business 

School of Information & Department of Economics (courtesy)

Recent Graduate Student Placement Locations

University of Georgia

University of Washington


Princeton (postdoc)

Loyola Marymount

University of Maryland

Norwegian School of Economics

Seminars, Reading Groups, Lunches, etc.

The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics seminar jointly run by the Economics Department, Ross School of Business, and the School of Information focuses on behavioral economics and research using experimental methods. 

In addition, because experimental methods are used widely in Labor Economics, Development Economics, Economics of Education and in testing economic theories, the seminars of these fields often present experimental work. Students have opportunities to present their own research at a variety of venues including the Labor Lunch and H2D2 (Health, History, Demography, and Development) Lunch. 

School of Information houses a Behavioral and Experimental Economics (BEE) laboratory and maintains a participant pool for laboratory experiments. Behavioral and Experimental Economics Workshop (BEE workshop) is a collaborative venue to present behavioral and experimental work at various stages of production (study designs, preliminary analyses, job market papers) by students and faculty.

Selected Recent Publications