View Full Version : Which program is strong in experimental economics and behavioral economics?

11-24-2010, 01:27 AM
I want to apply econ phd in the US, but I suddenly found that there was few programs which have the fields of experimental economics and behavioral economics. So could you help me in reconmending some Top 50 programs in US which have the fields above? Or how should I deal with this problem of applying the program without the fields I am interested in.....

Thank you so much!!

11-24-2010, 01:36 AM
I have heard that caltech has a good behavioral/experimental program.

11-24-2010, 04:54 AM
Both Arizona and Pitt have very good experimental and behavioral programs.

11-24-2010, 05:07 AM
CMU as well. Also lots of Business schools of top econ universities such as Penn, uChicago, Stanford, Northwestern and Duke.

11-24-2010, 05:46 AM
Chicago for sure. UCSD as well. NYU.

11-24-2010, 08:36 AM
Depends on what kind of experimental work you are interested. Lab experiments, field experiments, or just good all around experimental economics groups. Here is my list:

Lab experiments: Caltech, CMU, Harvard, MIT (Fehr is there once a semester), Berkeley.
Field experiments: Harvard, MIT, Yale, Berkeley, Chicago, UCSD, NYU

General: Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Chicago.

11-24-2010, 08:46 AM
Thank you all!!
But I think the top 20 programs is too difficult to apply, can you recommend the programs ranking from 20 to 50 which are strong in experiment and behavioral economics?
Thanks againO(∩_∩)O~

11-24-2010, 02:50 PM
someone mentioned Pitt and Arizona

11-24-2010, 05:48 PM
Thank you all!!
But I think the top 20 programs is too difficult to apply, can you recommend the programs ranking from 20 to 50 which are strong in experiment and behavioral economics?
Thanks againO(∩_∩)O~
VA Tech used to be really strong in experiments, but one key faculty (Eckel ) left for UT-Dallas... Some remain at VT, though...which means you can consider both, now, and decide.

11-24-2010, 06:32 PM
I have heard that caltech has a good behavioral/experimental program.

Caltech is very strong in behavioral/experimental (and they have Cameron, after all). But they don't have people in many other fields (macro, for instance), so if you feel that there is a chance that your interests may change, think twice before going there.

11-24-2010, 07:00 PM
Non Top-20 that are good in experimental...This is a short list but here's mine in no particular order.

Georgia State
Florida State

Ohio State is also very good but I consider them in the top-20.

11-24-2010, 07:09 PM
Caltech is one of the best places in behavioral/experimental!!!

11-24-2010, 07:10 PM
Read this thread: http://www.urch.com/forums/phd-economics/116354-behavioral-psychological-economics-rankings.html

11-24-2010, 09:21 PM
Ohio State.

11-25-2010, 03:04 AM
To be clear, at Ohio State (and probably many other places) there are no fields per se in experimental or behavioral economics, but these are still strong research areas. Most students interested in these areas (such as myself) take their formal fields in theory and industrial organization. The IO field includes a class taught by John Kagel and Dan Levin on auction experiments. There are also some useful graduate-level elective classes.

I would consider Ohio State top-30, but not really top-20. If you are targeting the 20-50 range, you should definitely apply to Ohio State, Pitt, and Arizona. Take a reach at Caltech, safety at Florida State.

11-25-2010, 08:18 AM
realphoenix, (http://www.urch.com/forums/members/realphoenix.html)

I know you mentioned you are interested in non-top 20 programs because they are too difficult to get into, but the other thing to consider is that if you are truly interested in experimental / behavior economics, you should probably look at top public policy or other econ-related programs. For example, at Harvard Kennedy School or Harvard School of Public Health or Harvard Business School now, you have access to J-PAL / IPA experimentalists who publish in QJE/RESTA/AER way more regularly than the guys at non-top pure Econ programs. I mean, who and where are the editors of top economics and especially experimental economics journals?

I'd imagine your ultimate objective would be to produce top quality research published at top economics journal. And I can assure you that you can very comfortably achieve this objective at non-pure econ programs so long as you are at a top school with strong ties to the experimental / behavior group "mafia" or the experimental econ journals.

11-25-2010, 09:39 AM
If you have your mind set on experimental/behavioral stuff you may consider Tilburg too.
Check out the TIBER website: Tiber Conferences - Tilburg University (http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tiber/conferences/)

Some researchers you may consider to check out:
Jan Potters (experimental) Jan Potters - Publications - Tilburg University (http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/center/staff/potters/publications/)
Charles Noussair (neuroeconomics/behavioral) http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/center/staff/noussair/cv.pdf
(a bit goofy journals over there but also AER, JF and the like)

Tilburg is not a top 20 place, so it isn't strong in all fields, but it does pretty well in the experimental scene. Big names visit pretty often (List comes nearly every year).

Not that into experimental so I can't help you more than this.

02-21-2011, 08:06 AM
Andronicus: thank you. I'm glad to see our school finally getting some love.

Btw (sorry this is off-topic), are we considered a strong in Labor Econ? I'd think with Hashimoto, Myazaki, and Dunn we'd be quite respectable (I'm an undergrad).

02-21-2011, 08:59 AM
Btw (sorry this is off-topic), are we considered a strong in Labor Econ? I'd think with Hashimoto, Myazaki, and Dunn we'd be quite respectable (I'm an undergrad).

Labor is strong here, but most students in labor are advised by Light, Weinberg, or Blau. They can be tough, but they seem to give their students a lot of attention. Dunn also advises students, but in consumer finance.

02-22-2011, 09:32 PM
Maryland has a relatively new experimental lab.

02-23-2011, 12:23 AM
Oh I was going to mention Tilburg but LouisBD beat me to it. I know lower down in the rankings is Zurich, which does a good blend of Experimental and Behavioral.

02-25-2011, 10:38 PM
While UCSC does not have a great program per se, there is some pretty decent work happening in experimental under Dan Friedman.

01-31-2013, 10:16 PM
Ok, I will speak here only for neuroeconomics focused programs..

My perception is that, in Neuroeconomics, the top 3 is (in no particular order)

University of Zurich (Ernst Fehr)
Caltech (Colin Camerer and Antonio Rangel)
New York University (Paul Glimcher)

So look for their labs on the internet, and you will find out what you have to do in order to get in there

Apart from these, there are other groups as well that do research in Neuroeconomics
For Europe, Maastricht University (they have excellent connections with NYU and Zurich, their first neuroeconomics student that obtained his PhD will start with a postdoc at NYU next year),
University College London (for example, the groups of Ray Dolan and Peter Dayan have done(and are doing) excellent research'; Benedetto de Martino is another good one), University of Cambridge (Wolfram Schultz),..

Maybe this might interest you: Maastricht offers a Master in Neuroeconomics (and is, as far as I know, the only place in the world to offer such a programme. It is a new, but I think excellent programme).

Of course, apart from that, there are many other programs in Neuroeconomics that are very good. If you really want to get a more complete idea about good researchers in the field.
Look for the book ''Neuroeconomics - decision making and the brain''. Every chapter in that book is written by other researchers, so you can look up their names on google and see where they are from.

As for behavioural economics, I cannot really help you. Nevertheless, Dan Ariely from Duke University is really one of my heroes :-)

02-01-2013, 05:22 PM
I would place UC Berkeley as number 1 on the list of behavioral programs. They have Botond Koszegi, Matt Rabin and several others that are doing good research.

Keep in mind that behavioral and neuroeconomics are keenly distinct fields: the former is much more akin to standard economics, in that the focus is on mapping psychological behavior into formal, tractable theoretical models, whereas the latter is simply focused on biological mechanisms that govern economic behavior. In my experience, people that are involved neuroeconomics seem to spend a lot of time researching the biology of the human brain without much regard for economic theory. That is not a knock on the field, just an observation. Although behavioral economists often employ experimental methods, the focus is always on testing and building economic theory. You will find that not every school that has a strong behavioral program has a neuroeconomics program, and vice-versa. This is because the two fields attract different types of researches (for instance, you can do great behavioral research without having a single clue about how the brain works). With this in mind, it is probably a good idea to figure out which of these fields appeals to you more, since not all the programs you apply to will be strong in both.

02-02-2013, 02:03 AM
Here is another opinion of a person who knows very little about the subject :)
It seems that behavioral (theoretical), behavioral (experimental) and neuroeconomics are three different things.

My perception is that Berkeley should be among the top schools in theory and Caltech in neuroeconomics.