Initial Publication Date: June 24, 2010

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On the Science of Learning

Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., and Cocking. R. R. (Eds.) (2000). How People Learn: Brain, mind experience and school. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press. This book contains current research in the cognitive sciences that support the idea that most students will learn best when they are actively engaged in analyzing, discussing, problem solving, reflecting or working together to understand a concept.

Pasher, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., and Bjork, R. (2009). "Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence," Psychological Science in the Public Interest,9:3, 105-116. This article revisits Learning Styles, the idea that individuals learn better in some classroom environments than others and that instructional practices should be tailored to a student's individual style. The authors find that it is possible for a single instructional technique to be optimal for all students, although students with some learning styles may dislike that particular technique. They recommend, therefore, adopting instructional practices which are shown to be effective in a particular discipline.

On Learning Gains (by Discipline)


Farrell, J. J., Moog., R. S., & Spencer, J. N. (1999). A guided-inquiry general chemistry course. Journal of Chemical Education, (76) 4, 570-74.


Ball, Sheryl B., Catherine C. Eckel and Christian Rojas (2006). "Technology Improves Learning in Large Principles of Economics Classes: Using Our WITS." American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 96(2): 442-446.

Blank, S. C. (1985) "Effectiveness of Role Playing, Case Studies, and Simulation Games in Teaching Agricultural Economics," Western Journal Agricultural Economics, 10:1 (July), 55-62.

Boehlje, M. D., and V. R. Eidman (1978) "Simulation and Gaming Models: Application in Teaching and Extension Programs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 60:5 (December), 987-992.

Breen, W., and J. Boyd (1976) "Classroom Simulation as a Pedagogical Device in Teaching Money and Banking," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 11:4 (November), 595-606.

Cardell N. S. Fort R. Joerding W. Inaba F. Lamoreaux D. Rosenman R. Stromsdorfer E. and Bartlett R. (1996). "Laboratory-Based Experimental and Demonstration Initiatives in Teaching Undergraduate Economics." American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings86(2): 454-9.

DeYoung, R. (1993). "Market Experiments: The Laboratory versus the Classroom. Journal of Economic Education, 244: 335-51.

Dickie, M. (2004). "Experimenting on Classroom Experiments: Do they increase learning in Introductory Microeconomics? Unpublished Manuscript, University of Central Florida.

Durham, Y., McKinnon, T., and Schulman, C. (2006). "Classroom Experiments: Not Just Fun and Games," Economic Inquiry, 45(1): 162-178.

Egbert, H. and Mertins, V. (2009). "Experiential Learning with Experiments." Available at SSRN:

Emerson, T and Taylor, B., (2004). "Comparing Student Achievement Across Experimental and Lecture-Oriented Sections of a Principles of Microeconomics Course," Southern Economic Journal 703:672-693.

Emerson, T and Taylor, B., (2007). "Interactions Between Personality Type and the Experimental Methods," Journal of Economic Education, 38(1):18-35.

Emerson, T and Taylor, B., (forthcoming). "Do Classroom Experiments Affect the Number of Economics Enrollments and Majors: A Study of Students in the United States," International Review of Economics Education.

Fels, Rendigs (1993) "This is What I Do, and I Like It," Journal of Economic Education, 24:4 (Fall), 365-370.

Guest, Jon (1999), "Introducing Games/Experiments Into an Intermediate Microeconomics Module." The Higher Education Academy: Economics Network.

Frank B., (1997). "The impact of classroom experiments on the learning of economics: an empirical investigation" Economic Inquiry, 35(4):763-.

Gremmen, H., & Potters, J. (1997). Assessing the efficacy of gaming in economic education. Journal of Economic Education, 291-303.

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Spencer, J., Moog, R., and Farrell, J. (2003). Physical Chemistry: A Guided Inquiry. This book contains experiments and group activities for a full-year physical chemistry course.


Redish, E. F. (2003) Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite, Wiley and Sons. Contains 11 research-based activities in addition to novel types of homework and test problems and surveys for doing in-class assessment.

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1. Books and articles about Using Economics Experiments

Ball, Sheryl B. (1998) "Research, Teaching, and Practice in Experimental Economics: A Progress Report and Review: Review Article," Southern Economic Journal, 64:3 (January), 772-779. Survey article.

Becker, William E., and Michael Watts, eds. (1998) Teaching Economics to Undergraduates: Alternatives to Chalk and Talk, Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar. This is a collection of papers on teaching options for economics classes, including classroom experiments. 

Bergstrom, T., and Miller, J. (1999) Experiments with Economic Principles. New Jersey: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. This is a book of microeconomics principles exercises with an accompanying student workbook.

Frank, R., (2005). Microeconomics and Behavior,6e. McGraw Hill/Irwin. This is an intermediate economics textbook with experiments included and discussion of the results of experiments in the text.

Frank, R., and Bernanke, B., (2009). Principles of Microeconomics.McGraw Hill/Irwin. This is an economics principles book with classroom experiments included in the instructor's guide and discussions of results of experiments in the text.

Holt, C. (2007). Markets, Games and Strategic Behavior. Pearson Education. This textbook could be used in a variety of classes, include game theory and experimental economics. Its focus is on experiments and results of experiments. Veconlab computer software allows the instructor to conduct all of the experiments with students taking the course.

King, P. G., and R. M. LaRoe (1991) "The Laboratory-Based Economics Curriculum," Journal of Economic Education, 22:3 285-292.

Ortmann, Andreas, and D. C. Colander (1995) Experiments in Teaching and in Understanding Economics, to Accompany Economics (2nd ed.) by D. C. Colander,Chicago: Irwin.

Stodder, James (1998) "Experimental Moralities: Ethics in Classroom Experiments," Journal of Economic Education, 29:2 (Spring), 127-138. 

Yandell, D. (1999). Using Economic Experiments in the Classroom.New Jersey: McGraw Hill. Microeconomics principles exercises with an index that links the exercises to corresponding chapters in the Case & Fair and O'Sullivan & Shefferin textbooks.

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2. Journal Articles Containing Economics Experiments

Anderson, Lisa R. and Holt, Charles A., (1996). Classroom games: Understanding Bayes' rule. Journal of Economic Perspectives 10(2): 179-87.

Anderson, Lisa R. and Holt, Charles A., (1996). Classroom games: Information cascades. Journal of Economic Perspectives 10(4): 187-193.

Ball, Sheryl B., and Charles A. Holt. (1998). Speculation and bubbles in an asset market. Journal of Economic Perspectives 12(1): 207-218.

Bell, Christopher R. (1993) "Using a Noncomputerized Version of Williams and Walker's Stock Market Experiment in a Finance Course," Journal of Economic Education, 24:4 (Fall), 317-323.

Bernard, John C., and William Schulze (2001) "Teaching Marginal Cost, Supply and Efficiency with an Englis Auction Experiment," Journal of Economic Education, 31:1, 52-59.

Brock, John R. (1991) "Teaching Tools: A Public Goods Experiment for the Classroom," Economic Inquiry, 29:2 (April), 395-401.

Cameron, N. E. (1997) "Teaching Tools: Simulating Money Supply Creation in Class," Economic Inquiry, 35:3 (July), 686-693.

Capra, C. Monica, Rosario Gomez, Jacob K. Goeree, and Charles A. Holt (2000) "Predation, Asymmetric Information, and Strategic Behavior in the Classroom: An Experimental Approach to the Teaching of Industrial Organization," International Journal of Industrial Organization, 18:1 (January), 205-225. 

Capra, C. Monica, and Charles A. Holt (2002) "Classroom Experiments: A Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Economic Education, 31(3), 229-236

Capra, C. Monica, and Charles A. Holt (1999) "Coordination," Southern Economic Journal, 65:3 (January), 630-636.

Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt (1999) "Rent Seeking and the Inefficiency of Non-Market Allocations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13:3 (Summer), 217-226.

Goeree, Jacob K., and Charles A. Holt. 1999. Employment and prices in a simple macro-economy. Southern Economic Journal. 65(3): 637-647.

Grobelnik, Marko, Vesna Prasnikar, and Charles A. Holt (1999) "Classroom Games: Strategic Interaction on the Internet," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13:2 (Spring), 211-220.

Hagg, I., and J. Johanson (1975) "The Business Game as a Research Tool -Experiments on the Effects of Received 
Information on the Decision Process-II," Swedish Journal of Economics, 77:3 351-358.

Halstead, J. (1989) "SOVPLAN: An In-Class Simulation of Central Planning," Economic Inquiry, 27:2 (April), 357-361.

Haupert, M. J. (1996) "An Experiment in Comparative Advantage," Journal of Economic Education, 27:1 (Winter), 37-44.

Haupert, Michael J. (1996) "Labor Market Experiment," Journal of Economic Education, 27:4 (Fall), 300-308.

Hazlett, Denise, and Jeela Ganje (1999) "An Experiment with Official and Parallel Foreign Exchange Markets in a Developing Country," Journal of Economic Education, 30:4 (Fall), 392-401.

Hazlett, Denise (2001) "An Experimental Education Market with Positive Externalities," Journal of Economic Education, 31:1, 44-51.

Hemenway, D., R. L. Moore, and J. Whitney (1987) "The Oligopoly Game," Economic Inquiry, 25:4 (October), 727-730.

Hester, D. D. (1991) "Instructional Simulation of a Commercial Banking System," Journal of Economic Education, 22:2 (Spring), 111-143.

Holt, Charles A. 1996. Trading in a pit market. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 10(1): 193-203.

Holt, Charles A., and Susan K. Laury. 1998. Classroom games: Voluntary provision of a public good. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 11(4): 209-215.

Holt, Charles A., and Tanga McDaniel. 1998. Experimental economics in the classroom. In Teaching undergraduate economics, edited by William B. Walstad and Phillip Saunders. Boston:Irwin/McGraw-Hill, pp. 257-268.

Holt, Charles A. and Roger Sherman. (1999). Classroom games: A market for lemons. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 13(1), 205-214

Kagan, Gary, Herbert Mayo, and Robert Stout (1995) "Risk-Adjusted Returns and Stock Market Games," Journal of Economic Education, 26:1 (Winter), 39-50.

Karpoff, Jonathan M. (1984) "Barter Trading as a Microeconomics Teaching Device," Journal of Economic Education, 15:3 (Summer), 226-236.

Keating, B. (1979) "Simulation Gaming in the Managerial Economics Course," Journal of Economic Education, 10:2 (Spring), 65-67.

Laury, Susan K., and Charles A. Holt (2000) "Making Money," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(20), 205-213.

Laury, Susan K., and Charles A. Holt. 1999. Multi-market equilibrium, trade, and the law of one price. Southern Economic Journal 65(3): 611-622.

Leuthold, Jane (1987) "A Public Goods Experiment for the Classroom," Journal of Economic Education, 18:1 (Winter), 58-65. 

Leuthold, Jane (1993) "A Free Rider Experiment for the Large Class," Journal of Economic Education, 24:4 (Fall), 353-363.

Mateer, G. Dirk, and Robert A. Lawson (1995) "The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat," Public Choice, 83:3-4 (June), 305-312. 

Meister, J. Patrick (1999) "`Oligopoly' - An In-Class Experiment," Journal of Economic Education, 30:4 (Fall), 383-391.

Nelson, R. G.**, and Richard O. Beil Jr. (1994) "Pricing Strategy under Monopoly Conditions: An Experiment for the Classroom," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 26:1 (July), 287-298.

Netusil, N. R., and M. J. Haupert (1995) "The Economics of Information: A Classroom Experiment," Journal of Economic Education, 26:4 (Fall), 357-363. 

Nugent, R. A. (1997) "Teaching Tools: A Pollution Rights Trading Game," Economic Inquiry, 35:3 (July), 679-685.

Ortmann, Andreas (1997) "Teaching Tools: A Simple Principal-Agent Experiment for the Classroom," Economic Inquiry, 35:2 (April), 443-450.

Peterson, N. A. (1990) "A Rational Expectations Experiment," Journal of Economic Education, 21:1 (Winter), 73-78.

Stevenson, Gelvin L. (1971) "A Simple Income Distribution Game," Review of Radical Political Economics, 3:3 (Summer), 107-119.

Sulock, Joseph M. (1990) "The Free Rider and Voting Paradox `Games'," Journal of Economic Education, 21:1 (Winter), 65-69.

Swanton, D. W. (1999) "Teaching Fisher's Theory of Interest in a Simple Auction Setting," Journal of Economic Education, 30:1 (Winter), 43-51.

Trapp, J. N. (1989) "A Commodity Market Simulation Games for Teaching Market Risk Management," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, 21:1 (July), 139-47. 

Walbert, Mark S., and Thomas J. Bierma (1988) "The Permits Game: Conveying the Logic of Marketable Pollution Permits," Journal of Economic Education, 19:4 (Fall), 383-389. 

Williams, Robert B. (1993) "Market Exchange and Wealth Distribution: A Classroom Simulation," Journal of Economic Education, 24:4 (Fall), 325-334.bution.

Wood, William C., Sharon L. O'Hare, and Robert L. Andrews (1992) "The Stock Market Game: Classroom Use and Strategy," Journal of Economic Education, 23:3 (Summer), 236-246. 

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3. Websites with Resources on Economics Experiments

  • Aplia is a publisher that offers both online homework and tutorials as well as classroom experiments for micro principles classes.
  • Charles Holt's teaching website which contains PDF files of a number of classroom experiments, web based experiments and a bibliography of published economics experiments.
  • EconPort is a digital library with resources about teaching economics with experiments.
  • Wikiuniversity is a site where instructors who have written classroom experiments can post them for others to use.
  • VeconLab ( This site may be offline. ) offers online experiments for classes at all levels of economics. It is a complement to Markets, Games & Strategic Behavior by Charles A. Holt, published by Pearson/Addison Wesley.

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