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Do Classroom Experiments Increase Learning in Introductory Microeconomics?

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  • Mark Dickie

Abstract

Abstract: Interest in using classroom experiments to teach economics is increasing whereas empirical evidence on how experiments affect learning is limited and mixed. The author used a pretest-posttest control-group design to test whether classroom experiments and grade incentives that reward performance in experiments affect learning of introductory microeconomics. The author measured the partial effects of experiments independently of instructor quality and teaching methods using Test of Understanding in College Economics scores. Experiments without incentives are associated with higher posttest scores and greater improvement over pretest scores, but grade incentives may offset benefits of experiments. Controlling for student aptitude and other characteristics, limiting influence of potential outliers, or adjusting for potential selection bias from incomplete observation of test scores does not alter the conclusion that experiments increase learning whereas grade incentives do not.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3200/JECE.37.3.267-288
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 267-288

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:37:y:2006:i:3:p:267-288

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Cited by:
  1. Beth A. Freeborn & Jason P. Hulbert, 2009. "Persuasive and Informative Advertising: A Classroom Experiment," Working Papers 85, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  2. Korbinian von Blanckenburg & Milena Neubert, 2014. "Monopoly Profit Maximization: Success and Economic Principles," Working Papers 1406, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 16 May 2014.
  3. Martin Dufwenberg & J. Todd Swarthout, 2009. "Play to Learn? An Experiment," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2009-08, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Inhyuck "Steve" Ha & Jessica Hollars Wisniewski, 2011. "Experiential Learning Based Discussion vs. Lecture Based Discussion: How to Estimate the Unemployment Rate," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 11(2), pages 33-38, Fall.
  5. Juan Luis Jiménez & Jordi Perdiguero & Ancor Suárez, 2011. "Debating as a classroom tool for adapting learning outcomes to the European higher education area," IREA Working Papers 201109, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2011.
  6. Subha Mani & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2010. "Explaining Randomized Evaluation Techniques Using Classroom Games," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2010-06, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  7. Inhyuck "Steve" Ha & Jessica Hollars Wisniewski, 2011. "Experiential Learning Based Discussion vs. Lecture Based Discussion: How to Estimate the Unemployment Rate," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 11(1), pages 33-38, Summer.

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