Texas A&M recently hired a new researcher to join our team at the ERL. Daniel Fragiadakis from Stanford University will be the newest Assistant Professor at Texas A&M. His research has focused on market design. He has written both theory and experimental papers to help us understand how to allocate resources in non-standard markets, such as students to schools or seats in a classroom.
Sarah Brosnan presented her very interesting work on decision making by non-human primates to the economics department in February. This talk included research on how primates deal with novel problems that arise in interactions with other group members. Dr. Brosnan research includes data collected on New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and great apes. This informal seminar gave PhD students and faculty a chance to ask questions and develop a better understanding of how economic experiments are run on primates as well as the behavior the primates exhibit.
The College of Liberal Arts has highlighted the research contribtuions of the ERL and its faculty and students. The article is available here
Alex Brown and Hagen Kim, Assistant Professors in the Department of Economics and Department of Finance at Texas A&M, respectively, recently published their experimental findings in Management Science. Brown, the co-director of the ERL, and Kim, an ERL affiliate, ran experiments in the ERL during April, May, and June 2009 and September 2010. Their research validates a standard assumption of one of the predominant models of macroeconomics and finance, namely that an individual´s preference for the resolution of uncertainty is correlated with their time and risk preferences. The article can be found here.
Nine members of the ERL team (Alex Brown, Catherine Eckel, Haley Harwell, Daniel Stephenson, Ajalavat Viriyavipart, Xiaoyuan Wang, Zhengzheng Wang, Jacob Williams and Wei Zhan) attended the conference. These researchers presented an impressive seven papers at the conference. Topics included continuous time auctions, public choice and common pool resources, coordination and repeated games, exploding offers, social identity, and multiple papers on charitable giving at the North American Economic Science Association Meetings in Santa Cruz, CA. This meeting focuses on experimental and behavioral economics.
John Van Huyck recently published an article, Eureka Learning: Heuristics and Response Time in Perfect Information Games, with Nick McKinney in Games and Economic Behavior. The article can be found here
The College of Liberal Arts has funded a market design initiative for the academic year 2013-2014, as part of a Strategic Development Fund grant. Market design is the comprehensive use of economic theory, experimental economics, and computational methods in order to study practical and policy relevant resource allocation problems. As part of this project, Tayfun Sonmez (Boston College) offered a minicourse on market design in fall 2013; Catherine Eckel coordinated a reading group in market design; and Guoqiang Tian, Alex Brown, and Rodrigo Velez taught advanced graduate classes in experimental methods, mechanism design, and matching. This grant also provided funding for pilot experiments. The economics department at Texas A&M University hosted the 2nd Texas Economics Theory Camp. This conference is a collaborative effort between the most prominent economic theory/experimental groups in the state of Texas, i.e., Rice U., SMU, Texas A&M U., U. of Houston, U.T. Austin, and U.T. Dallas. The main objective of this conference is to bring together senior faculty, junior faculty, and graduate students in economic theory from the participant schools, giving priority to junior faculty and graduate students to showcase their research and receive feedback from senior faculty. Tayfun Sonmez (Boston College) taught a mini-course on Market Design in the Department of Economics at Texas A&M University Sept. 25th-30th, 2013. The mini-course provided an overview of some recent research and policy work on matching markets. The focus of the course was on the evolution of the literature both from a theoretical and also practical perspective. Topics included two-sided matching, house allocation, school choice, kidney exchange, matching with contracts, and cadet branching.
As part of the Economic Research Laboratory´s Humanities and Social Science Enhancement of Research Capacity grant, Daniel Stephenson was hired as research assistant for the laboratory. His job duties are to assist all faculty and graduate students when using the laboratory for both teaching and research purposes. His position will greatly aide those unfamiliar with using the laboratory, and should increase both faculty and graduate student involvement in the laboratory. In addition, his research studies behavioral dynamics in continuous-time evolutionary games.
Four members of the ERL team (Alexander L. Brown, Jon Van Huyck, Daniel Stephenson, and J. Forrest Williams) traveled to Zurich, Switzerland to present their research at the World Economic Science Association. Dr. Brown and Daniel also attended a workshop on market design in Zurich before the meetings began.
J. Forrest Williams attended the Spring School in Behavioral Economics hosted by the Rady School in San Diego. He and roughly 40 other graduate students engaged in a week long discourse with leaders and pioneers of behavioral economics to discuss research topics and the direction of the field.