Frequently asked questions - FAQs

What are economic experiments exactly?

The experiments can vary considerably. There are, for example, experiments during which negotiations take place, experiments where one has to act as a bidder at an auction or as a participant in a special market. However, the decision situations are simple such as determining a number or selecting one of several alternatives. The exact procedure and the task are explained to the participant in detail prior to the experiment.

Why should you take part in experiments?

It’s an “easy” way to earn money! The amount each participant receives is success-related. On average one can expect to earn ca. €10 an hour. The exact amount depends on how successfully the situation in the experiment is mastered. The reward can be much higher, but also lower.

Who can take part in the experiments?

Basically anyone can take part in the experiments. The chosen course of study or current profession are thus of no importance. If exceptions are to be made for a certain experiment, this information will be given in the announcements for the experiment.

How long does an exeriment take?

The duration of an experiment takes on average ca. 2 hours. Further details are to be found in the respective announcements or can be requested on registration.

What is the purpose of economic experiments?

One goal of experimental economic research is to gain a better understanding of the decision behaviour of individuals as the forecasts of economic theory often do not coincide with the actual individual behaviour observed.  Using the newly acquired data, existing theories can be tested and new theories developed. In addition, experiments are also used to comprehensively test, for example, the efficiency of new market institutions prior to their implementation.

What happens to the results of experimental research?

The results of the experiments are published in articles in specialist journals, research studies or theses. For those who are interested, we are very happy to give information on where the results of certain experiments have been published.

Is previous knowledge or experience necessary?

No! It is not necessary for participants to have previous knowledge or experience. However, in order to guarantee perfect understanding of the rules of an experiment, excellent spoken and written German is essential.

How can you take part in an experiment?

It is quite simple to take part: you register for one of the set experiment dates, which are announced in advance, by filling in a form which is to be found on the registration web page.

Where and when can you register?

For exact registration deadlines and contact persons, please refer to our registration web page.

How do you know which experiments you can take part in?

The current dates for planned experiments are to be found on this web page and on the notices in the institute. In addition, these dates are also announced in handouts in the student cafeteria.

Those interested can also put their name on a mailing list, which informs you about new dates. To do this, just send an empty email leaving the subject line free to the “Mailinglist”.

What should you do if only reserve candidates are required?

It is still worth coming to the experiment!

For each experiment date, more candidates can register than can actually take part. All registered candidates have to be there at the beginning of a session. If due to cancellations or absence, there are free laboratory places, the additional candidates can fill these gaps and take part in the experiment. Should there, on the other hand, be no free places, each reserve candidate receives €10 for coming.

How is payment made?

Your initial €10 is given to you directly after the experiment session. You can collect the remaining part of your payment from the secretary’s office of the respective department up until a certain date which you will be given in advance. The individual payments are of course anonymous as far as the experimenters are concerned.

Any more questions?

For further questions contact the respective departments by telephone +495323 – 727631 (Dipl.-Vw. Anne-Kathrin Dimmig) or +495323 – 727605 (Dipl.-Kffr. Hong Liu-Kiel) or by email.



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