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How to Improve Economic Understanding? Testing Classroom Experiments in High Schools


  • Gerald Eisenkopf

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

  • Pascal Sulser

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)


We present results from a field experiment at Swiss high schools in which we compare the effectiveness of a classroom experiment against conventional economics teaching. We randomly assigned classes into different teaching environments or a control group. Our results suggest that both teaching methods improve economic understanding considerably in contrast to classes without prior training. We do not observe a significant overall effect of the classroom experiment, but more able students benefit from the experiment while others lose out. Furthermore there is no robust impact of economic training on social preferences, measured as both individual behavior in incentivized decisions or political opinions.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Eisenkopf & Pascal Sulser, 2013. "How to Improve Economic Understanding? Testing Classroom Experiments in High Schools," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-04, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1304

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    More about this item


    Education of Economics; Classroom Experiments; Field Experiments; Indoctrination;

    JEL classification:

    • A21 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Pre-college
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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