2014 Training Course - Experimental Methods for Impact Assessment

Event Date
IFPRI Dakar, Senegal


The term experiment has become quite popular in economics. Examples of experiments abound in many subfields of the economics literature, in particular, experimental, behavioral, and development economics.  Despite the growing use of the term experiment and of the experimental approach in economics, the methodology of experimentation has not yet found its way into the typical economist’s (and researcher’s) toolkit.
This mini-course will provide an overview of game theory and its relation to behavioral, experimental, and development economics.
This course will not be comprehensive, but should give the participant a flavor for (1) why and how we conduct experiments, particularly in economics, and (2) what we can take away from experimental findings.  The course will primarily be aimed at surveying some of the literature on experiments in development. As such, depth with be traded for breadth.

READINGs, Notes & Slides

Readings and course notes can be found here from this link for members registered to attend this course. Note that certain readings coincide with particular portions of the course.


Please note that this is a suggested plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.
Day 1
09:00 - 09:30 Introduction: Getting to know each other
09:30 - 10:00 Application 1: Guessing game
10:00 - 10:30 Game theory, taxonomy of experiments
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:15 Behavioral vs. experimental economics, behavioral game theory
11:15 - 12:00 Application 2: Coordination game
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Application 2 (continued): Evidence and discussion
13:30 - 14:30 Experimental design, protocol, implementation
14:30 - 14:45 Break
14:45 - 15:45 Experimental design, protocol, implementation (continued)
15:45 - 16:30 Review Day 1
Day 2
09:00 - 09:30 Application 3: Risk experiment
09:30 - 10:00 Application 4: Time experiment
10:00 - 10:30 Discussion
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:15 The role of lab-like field experiments
11:15 - 12:00 Role 1: Theory testing
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Role 2: Parameters
13:30 - 14:30 Role 3 and 4: Heterogeneous impacts and methodology
14:30 - 14:45 Break
14:45 - 16:30 Discussion: Ways forward, open research questions, participant remarks, etc.

application & Prerequisites

In order to apply for this course, members must complete the following by April 11, 2014:


Dr. Angelino Viceisza is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Spelman College and an Affiliated Researcher at IFPRI. His primary fields of expertise are experimental, behavioral and development economics. Over the past few years, his work has spanned a broad set of topics and regions, which are united by the common element of people’s behavior. Thematically, Dr. Viceisza’s research has focused on crime, insurance, remittances, norms, and measurement of people’s preferences. Geographically, his research has focused on El Salvador, Ethiopia, Peru, Senegal and Vietnam among other countries. His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Agricultural Economics, Economic Inquiry, Experimental Economics, and Journal of Development Economics.