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Your Place in Space: Classroom Experiment on Spatial Location Theory


  • Margo Bergman
  • G. Dirk Mateer
  • Michael Reksulak
  • Jonathan C. Rork
  • Rick K. Wilson
  • David Zirkle


The authors detail an urban economics experiment that is easily run in the classroom. The experiment has a flexible design that allows the instructor to explore how congestion, zoning, public transportation, and taxation levels determine the bid--rent function. Heterogeneous agents in the experiment compete for land use using a simple auction mechanism. Using the data that is collected, a bid--rent function is derived, and the experimental treatment is altered over the course of three sessions to uncover core concepts in urban economics. Moreover, this provides a tangible experience that can be used to help undergraduates relate to urban issues such as the steep rent gradient found around many larger colleges and universities.

Suggested Citation

  • Margo Bergman & G. Dirk Mateer & Michael Reksulak & Jonathan C. Rork & Rick K. Wilson & David Zirkle, 2009. "Your Place in Space: Classroom Experiment on Spatial Location Theory," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(4), pages 405-421, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:40:y:2009:i:4:p:405-421 DOI: 10.1080/00220480903237976

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Manfred K÷nigstein, 2001. "Optimal Contracting With Boundedly Rational Agents," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 18, pages 211-228.
    3. Vital Anderhub & Simon Gächter & Manfred Königstein, 2002. "Efficient Contracting and Fair Play in a Simple Principal-Agent Experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27, June.
    4. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments


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