In 2013 CeDEx had again the task of representing the School of Economics in the May Fest. This time, we presented two adapted experiments to the visiting families: The Winner’s curse and the Tragedy of the Commons.
For the first experiment, I worked with my colleague Zahra Murad in an improved version of the experiment presented last year. On this occasion, we posted offers not accepted, profits and losses of the day on a board behind our ‘experimenting desk’. Participants were quite surprised when learning that most of the people attending were actually making losses.
We then explained to our visitors with the aid of a poster what the Winner’s curse was and how it can be related to real-world scenarios.
On the other stand, my colleagues Francesco Fallucci and Simone Quercia presented an adapted version of the Tragedy of the Commons using a fish pond. Here, chocolates represented fish that could double if not taken by the current participant. It was quite fun to see how some parents were trying to (unsuccessfully) persuade their children to not take more than the optimal number of chocolates. In the end, families learned also the importance of a sustainable consumption with some stylized examples presented on a poster.
All in all, this year the May Fest was even more successful than the last one; indeed, I believe that with the right motivation and examples Experimental Economics can be very interesting not only to people within academia. Hopefully, this effort can be improved next year with new experiments and visitors!