Mackenzie Alston, a third-year experimental economics PhD student, received the July Teaching Award while participating in the American Economic Association’s (AEA) 2016 Summer Training Program.
Mackenzie taught a “Foundations in Mathematics” course to 15 students from all over the country.
The AEA Summer Training Program aims to provide minority undergraduate students with preparation to successfully complete graduate coursework.
Catherine Eckel, Sarah and John Lindsey Professor in the Liberal Arts and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at Texas A&M University, gave several talks at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia, during July 2016.
Dr. Eckel gave an F.H. Gruen Public Lecture on “Shopping for Trust” on July 19, 2016. In contrast to most research on trust, in this study (joint with Rick Wilson) Dr. Eckel uses lab experiments to show that choosing a partner substantially increases trust and reciprocity in an incentivized trust game. Partner choice is based on viewing the photographs of potential counterparts, and trusters are able to select counterparts who are more trustworthy. That is, potential partners that appear to be honest and trustworthy prove to reciprocate larger amounts in the trust game.
She also gave two talks to ANU’s Gender Institute on July 20, 2016 (pictured below). These consisted of a talk on mentoring female graduate students and junior faculty, and another one on lab experimental research on gender differences in financial market behavior.
Faculty and PhD students of the Department of Economics presented their research at the Economics Science Association (ESA) North American meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference gathers some of the most important personalities and researchers of the Economic Science. This year the keynote speakers were John Kagel (Ohio State) and Rebecca Morton (NYU), both former faculty at Texas A&M University.
This year’s program included a special ceremony in memory of John Van Huyck, former faculty of our department, who died on September 11, 2014. The ceremony showed the great appreciation and respect for John, both as a researcher of great intellectual stature and as a great colleague in the discipline. Catherine Eckel, Alex Brown and Ajalavat Viriyavipart (grad student) offered their personal memories of John, while David Cooper (FSU); friend, colleague and coauthor, put in perspective John’s great contributions to the discipline of Experimental and Behavioral Economics.
The presenters and research topics during the conference were the following (in session order):
- Ajalavat Viriyavipart, “Equilibrium Selection in Global Entry Games with Strategic Substitutes and Complements.”
- Catherine Eckel, “Inconsistency Pays.”
- Zhengzheng Wang, “An Experimental Analysis of the Non-constant-sum Colonel Blotto Game.”
- Daniel Stephenson, “Evolutionary Preference Revelation Dynamics under School Choice Mechanisms.”
- Haley Harwell, “When does Punishment Enhance Cooperation?”
- José Gabriel Castillo, “Four Classic Public Goods Experiments: A replication study.”
- Alexander Brown, “Exploding Offers with Experimental Consumer Goods.”
The Economic Research Laboratory is deeply saddened to report the passing of a founder and current co-director of the ERL, Dr. John Van Huyck. John’s experimental research on coordination, performed at A&M, permanently altered how economists thought about game theory as well as how future game theory experiments were designed. He will be sorely missed. For more details about his life, click here and his research, click here
Several members of the ERL team, including Catherine Eckel, Haley Harwell, and Daniel Stephenson attended the conference and presented new experimental research. Topics included labor markets, field experiments, market design, and social norms at the 2014 European Economic Science Association Meetings in Prague, Czech Republic.
Three ERL graduate student staff members completed their PhDs this year. In all three of their theses, experimental economics research, done in the ERL, played a prominent role. All three will move on to faculty positions. J. Forrest Williams will be a new assistant professor in the Economics Department at Portland State University; Xiaoyuan Wang will be a new assistant professor in the School of Management and Economics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China ; Hui-Chun Peng will be a new assistant professor at Tunghai University.
As part of the ERL´s Humanities and Social Science Enhancement of Research Capacity grant, the Economic Research Laboratory and the Department of Economics at Texas A&M University will host the first ever Texas Experimental Association Symposium (TExAS). The symposium will highlight research in experimental social science done by research with current or past Texas affiliations, in the hope of increasing experimental collaborations across Texas institutions. Keynote speakers are former Texas A&M faculty, John Kagel (Ohio State) and Rebecca Morton (New York University). Conference participants include current and former faculty at Texas institutions, former graduate students at Texas institutions as well as the current faculty at the Economic Research Laboratory, Alex Brown, Catherine Eckel, Daniel Fragiadakis and John Van Huyck. Full details for the conference can be found on the ERL website here.
Gregory Cohen, a former student and Economics Undergraduate Research Opportunities Scholar, published an extension of his undergraduate thesis in the journal, Experimental Economics. The experimental research, co-authored with his advisor, Alex Brown was run in the ERL during April and May 2013. It shows that the guarantee of anonymity for subjects in eliciting their valuations for items in the lab, thought to be crucial for a fundamental finding in experimental economics, makes no difference in achieving that finding. The article can be found here
Catherine Eckel and graduate student Gonzalo E. Sanchez traveled to Nuremberg, Germany to present their research at the Taxation, Social Norms and Compliance Conference organized by The Center for Economic Behavior and Institution Design (Cebid) at Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU).
J. Forrest Williams recently accepted the tenure-track position of Assistant Professor of Urban Economics and Public Economics at Portland State University. He begins there in the Fall of 2014 and will set up and run his own experimental lab.