Games and Experiments

1.    Classroom Games, Experiments, and Demonstrations

Enforcement Game
("Does Crime Pay? A Classroom Demonstration of Monitoring and Enforcement" with Lisa R. Anderson forthcoming in the Southern Economic Journal)
In this game, Tstudents choose whether or not to comply with pollution regulations. By varying the level of monitoring and fines for noncompliance, the game shows students how the probability and severity of enforcement affects incentives for compliance. The game can be adapted for settings other than environmental regulation and can be used in a variety of classes including regulation, law and economics, environmental economics, public economics, or the economics of crime.  It can easily be conducted in a fifty minute class period.
Instruction and Record Sheets.

Permit Trading Game
("Choosing Winners and Losers in a Permit Trading Game" with Lisa R. Anderson in the Southern Economic Journal, July 2000)
In this game, students trade pollution permits.  By changing the distribution of permits across firms, you can demonstrate how the allocation of property rights determines the winners and losers in the permit trading system, but does not affect the efficiency of the system.  This game can be used in a variety of classes including principles or environmental economics and can be conducted in a 50 minute class period with follow-up discussion in the next class.
Instructions and Record Sheets.

Market Entry Games
In these games, players simultaneously decide whether or not to enter a market.  In the first game, all entrants are equal.  In the second game, entrants are randomly assigned efficiency levels.  In the third game, entrants are assigned efficiency levels based on a "skill test".  These games can be used in a variety of classes including intermediate micro and inustrial organization.  All three can be conducted in under 30 minutes.
Instructions and Record Sheets.

Equity vs. Efficiency Demonstration
In this demonstration, pairs of players must decide between seven wealth allocations.  Each allocation has a different total payoff and distribution of payoffs between the pair.  In round one, the pair must come to a mutual decision and side payments are not allowed.  In round two, one player wins the right to dictate the allocation (again with no side payments).  In rounds 3 and 4, side payments are allowed.  This game can be used in a variety of classes and can be conducted in a 50 minute class period (including follow-up).
Instructions and Record Sheets .

Network Externalities
("Network Externalities and Standardization: A Classroom Demonstration" with Christopher S. Ruebeck, Nicola Tynan, et al., The Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 69, 1000-1008 (2003))
This game can be used to demonstrate network externalties, standardization, and switching costs.  In the basic game students independently choose a technology whose value depends on the total number of students choosing that technology.  In the next round, sequential decision-making is allowed which quickly leads to standardization.  Introducing imperfect information and switching costs into subsequent rounds can lead to the real-world phenomenon of an inferior technology becoming the standard.  This exercise can be used in principles classes to teach these important concepts without requiring mathematical models.  In more advanced classes, construction of the mathematical model behind the game may be assigned.  The game and discussion can be conducted in a 50 minute class.
Instruction and Record Sheets

Price Discrimination
("The Campus Parking Game: A Demonstration of Price Discrimination and Consumer Welfare," with Jeffrey Michaels, Arthur Zillante, et al., Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 71, pp.668-682 (2005))
This game allows students to directly experience the welfare improvements that can result from price discrimination.  The demonstration uses a very familiar decision-making scenario, campus parking, to introduce the concept of price discrimination as well as reinforce the concepts of opportunity cost, consumer surplus, and search costs.  This game can be used in a variety of classes including principles, intermediate theory, industrial organization, or environmental economics and can be conducted in a 50 minute class period with follow-up discussion in the next class.
Instruction and Record Sheets

2. Internet Games and Experiments
These internet games and experiments use the ComLabGames software developed at Carnegie Mellon.
3.    Links to related sites
V econ Lab: Charlie Holt's Interactive Web-based Experiments
ComLab Games : Strategic and Extensive Form Game Developer developed by Grobelnik et al. at Carnegie Mellon
Games Economists Play : Index of Non-Computerized Classroom Games for College Economics
Classroom Experinomics : Newsletter by Greg Delemeester and John Neral
Competitive Strategy Game : Developed by Severin Borenstein
Journal of Economic Education