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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Dickie, 2006. "Do Classroom Experiments Increase Learning in Introductory Microeconomics?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 267-288, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:37:y:2006:i:3:p:267-288
    DOI: 10.3200/JECE.37.3.267-288
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Špačková Zuzana, 2015. "Laboratory Experiments in Teaching Public Economics and Policy," Central European Journal of Public Policy, De Gruyter Open, vol. 9(1), pages 196-206, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Joshua D. Miller & Robert P. Rebelein, 2011. "Research on the Effectiveness of Non-Traditional Pedagogies," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 30 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Berning, Joshua P., 2014. "Using self-reported data collection and analysis to facilitate student learning: A case study," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162482, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Alan Grant & Jim Bruehler & Andreea Chiritescu, 2016. "Herd Immunity: A Classroom Experiment," Journal of Economics Teaching, Journal of Economics Teaching, vol. 1(1), pages 7-16, June.
    6. 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 25 Nov 2014.
    7. 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.
    8. Carlos Asarta & Ken Rebeck, 2011. "Measurement Techniques of Student Performance and Literacy: College and High School," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 29 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. repec:mts:jrnlee:v:16:y:2016:i:1:p:36-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Beth A. Freeborn & Jason P. Hulbert, 2011. "Persuasive and Informative Advertising: A Classroom Experiment," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 51-59, January.
    11. Gerald Eisenkopf & Pascal Sulser, 2013. "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Teaching Methods: Do Classroom Experiments Improve Economic Education in High Schools?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-17, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    12. 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.
    13. Subha Mani & Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2010. "Explaining Randomized Evaluation Techniques Using Classroom Games," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2010-06, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
    14. Christina Robinson, 2015. "Classroom Experimentation and an Application from Sports Economics," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 21(4), pages 423-432, November.
    15. Paul Johnson & Bart J. Wilson, 2008. "Economics Works! Experiments in High School Classrooms," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 23(Spring 20), pages 149-156.
    16. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 285-325, June.
    17. Zheng, Liping & Severe, Sean, 2016. "Teaching the macroeconomic effects of tax cuts with a quasi-experiment," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 55-65.
    18. Yvonne Durham & Thomas Mckinnon & Craig Schulman, 2007. "Classroom Experiments: Not Just Fun And Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(1), pages 162-178, January.
    19. Ninos P. Malek & Joshua C. Hall & Collin Hodges, 2014. "A Review and Analysis of the Effectiveness of Alternative Teaching Methods on Student Learning in Economics," Working Papers 14-27, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    20. 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.
    21. Giamattei, Marcus & Graf Lambsdorff, Johann, 2015. "classEx: An online software for classroom experiments," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-68-15, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    22. repec:kap:iaecre:v:21:y:2015:i:4:p:423-432 is not listed on IDEAS

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