Summary: Students become fluent in economics when they can apply the concepts in a real, decision-making and strategic environment. For this reason, an increasing number of professors are incorporating experiments into their undergraduate courses.
In his new text, Charles Holt begins each chapter with a lead-off experiment designed as an organizing device to introduce economic concepts such as the Winner's Curse, Asset Market Bubbles, and Rent Seeking. These experiment...show mores are easy to facilitate in the classroom, and may be run ''by hand'' or online via an internet browser.
The early chapters in Part I of the text cover the basics, providing examples that feature markets with buyers and sellers, simple two-person games, and individual lottery choice decision. Professors can choose the order in which they cover later chapter topics, including markets, bargaining, public choice, auctions, individual decisions, games, and asymmetric information.
Each chapter includes an experiment which is easy to use in class. All games are available online, and most are also available to be run in class ''by hand'' using the end-of-chapter appendixes. Web based games can be set up and run from any standard browser (Internet Explorer and Mozilla) connected to the Internet.
The chapters are self-contained, making the format very flexible. Each chapter contains one game, carefully balancing theory and methodology. One-a-day readings in each chapter, ten to fifteen pages each, can be assigned in conjunction with each in-class experiment, or as supplemental reading.
The book's scope and flexible format make it easy to integrate in a variety of undergraduate courses.
Intermediate Microeconomics courses will want to include the introductory chapters (2 and 3), markets (6, 7, 8, 10), bargaining (12), and public goods and externalities (14 and 16).
Game Theory course will want to include the introductory chapters (1 through 5), Cournot (6), bargaining (12), rent-seeking (17), behavioral game theory (23-26) and signaling (33).
Public Economics courses will want to include the introductory chapters (2 and 3), ultimatum bargaining (12), and public choice and voting coverage (14, 16-18).
Mathematics is kept accessible. Experiments are typically based on parametric cases that distinguish alternate theories. Calculus is only present in the chapters on auctions and Cournot markets, with optional sections preceded by discrete examples and graphs to provide a more intuitive approach.
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