2011 High School Workshop in Experimental Economics

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

The UAA College of Business and Public Policy's Center for Economic Education will host its second annual 2011 High School Workshop in Experimental Economics May 23-26 on UAA's campus. Twenty-six Anchorage-area high school students will get a hands-on introduction to modern economics during this four-day workshop.

experimental economics at UAAThe workshop exposes young people to traditional economics using modern methods. Economic experiments allow students to interact with one another in simulated market environments. "The workshop is great for kids who have never seen economics before and for students with a lot of experience with the topic," said Kyle Hampton, director of the Center for Economic Education. "Even the stuff that is old hat is approached in a unique way."

For example, in one experiment, students play the role of buyers and sellers of a good. On the basis of their decisions, they are paid actual cash at the end of the experiment. "This allows students to see a lot of that dusty economic theory from the inside," said Hampton. "And have a lot of fun doing it in the process."

Hampton added that the experiments cover a wide swath of economic topics, including a lot of what people don't think of as economics: trust, reciprocity, revenge, cooperation and altruism.

"Learning economics won't necessarily make you rich, but it will allow you to live a richer life," Hampton said. "Economics helps people to see the ways human events are connected and illuminates current events and human history. Once you have seen the world through the lens of economics, you can no longer see it any other way."

Students are recruited from high school social studies courses in the Anchorage School District. They apply to participate in the workshop online and are chosen competitively. This workshop has taken place over the last 10 years at the University of Arizona, George Mason University, Chapman University in Orange and now UAA.

For more information, please contact Kyle Hampton at afkh2@uaa.alaska.edu.

The UAA Center for Economic Education's mission is to raise the level of economic literacy in Alaska by promoting and improving the teaching of economics in schools throughout the state. For more information, call 786-1916 or visit www.cee.alaska.edu.

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