Monash Laboratory for Experimental Economics

The Monash Laboratory for Experimental Economics (MonLEE) helps economists test their hypotheses, identify the forces that enhance innovation, cooperation and productivity to shape policy making and advance the science of economics across the globe.

The Clayton-based lab has 27 computers and is run by Monash Business School's Department of Economics. MonLEE is located on the 9th floor of the Menzies Building, in the east wing. Our subject pool exceeds 2,000 individuals with a diversity of age, nationality, degrees, and backgrounds.

Experimental and behavioural economics

Experimental and behavioural economics are relatively new areas, which have grown strongly in recent years. Actions and behaviour of individuals are observed under different set ups and conditions, in an attempt to analyse the implications of such actions and behaviour for economic development and growth.

Across the world, experiments have been used to design, understand, and test policy implications, including electricity market deregulation, auctions for biodiversity, and aqua-culture. Participants in these experiments simulate the behaviour of people in everyday bargaining situations, in organisations and in the market at large.

Experimental economics are also increasingly being used to examine exactly how morale and self-motivation are crucial for the growth of productivity and how intangible institutions, such as trust, are imperative for success of market networks and organisations in the global competitive environment.

Development economics

During the last decade, there has been an exponential increase in the application of experimental methods in Development Economics. These take the form of artefactual field experiments which examine behaviour using similar rules and procedures as in a laboratory but employ a field-based and diverse subject pool.

Examples of development research by MonLEE affiliates include:

  • Risk-Taking Behaviour in the Wake of Natural Disasters
  • Behavioural Impacts of China's One-Child Policy
  • Understanding Corruption and Risk-Coping Behaviour Following Natural Disasters in Bangladesh
  • Religion, Minority Status and Trust
  • Choosing to be trained: Behavioural restrictions on participation decisions

Few other Australian institutions can boast such an integrated approach to research in development economics. Find out more about the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability, our dedicated centre for research into all aspects of development economics and sustainability.

Current research at MonLEE spans across a wide range of economic areas, including development, cooperation, charitable giving, price discrimination and leadership. Learn more about our researchers below.

Name Research Areas

Klaus Abbink

  • Corruption: Testing anti-corruption policies, finding determinants of corruption;
  • Conflict: Contest models, war games;
  • Development (with focus on experimental methods in low-income settings). Microfinance models and other stuff;
  • (Anti-)social preferences and behaviour, (anti-)social norms.
Nick Feltovich
  • Bargaining;
  • Game theory;
  • Price formation.

Lata Gangadharan

  • Attitudes towards anti-social preferences: corruption, envy, bad norms; the impact of these kinds of preferences and design measures to alleviate them;
  • Leadership;
  • Gender;
  • Designing mechanisms (incentives, markets, tournaments, for example) to improve environmental outcomes;
  • Pro-social preferences: cooperation, charitable giving, inequality and mechanisms to understand their impact in society.

Philip Grossman

  • Charitable giving;
  • Leadership;
  • Gender.

Elias Khalil

  • Rationality, ethics, and the emotions;
  • Political Economy;
  • Evolutionary Economics.

Andreas Leibbrandt

  • Experimental research on the relationship between cooperation and competitiveness;
  • The positive and negative impacts of affirmative action policies;
  • Price discrimination.

Vai-Lam Mui

  • Theoretical and experimental work in behavioural economics and political economy;
  • Identity and cooperation in the inter-group prisoner's dilemma;
  • Individual versus group choices of repeated game strategies in social dilemmas;
  • Network formation;
  • Parental up-bring and ethic formation;
  • Political economy of succession.

Birendra Rai

  • Other regarding preferences

Anmol Ratan

  • Microeconomic theory;
  • Experimental and Behavioral Economics: Design, external validity, non standard preferences;
  • Markets: Tests and simulations

Erte Xiao

  • Prosocial behavior such as reciprocity, trust, and inequality aversion;
  • Designing incentive mechanisms to promote good behavior such as volunteering and healthy habits;
  • Communication and signaling value of monetary incentives in enforcing cooperation;
  • Social norms;
  • Deception;
  • Corruption;
  • Leadership and gender.

MonLEE is available for booking by staff members, graduate students, and visitors of Monash Business School. You can use the facilities to conduct research in experimental economics, as well as class-room experiments in units offered by the School.

All booking inquiries should be directed to the MONLEE Director, Associate Professor Erte Xiao at erte.xiao@monash.edu.

For all other inquiries, please contact Associate Professor Erte Xiao, MonLEE Director.

If you are a first-time user, please download and complete the MonLEE policy and registration form.

By completing and signing this form, you agree to our terms and conditions when using MonLEE.

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