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 29 computers and is run by Monash Business School's Department of Economics. MonLEE is located on level 9 in the east wing of the Menzies Building. Our subject pool exceeds 3,000 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.

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.

Researcher Research Areas

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.

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

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.

Xiaojian Zhao

  • Contract theory
  • Applied microeconomics
  • Psychology and economics
  • Experimental economics

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 first-time users must read the information described below, and submit the registration form to acknowledge that you agree to accept these terms and conditions when using MonLEE for research and teaching activities.

Terms and conditions

  • MonLEE lab strictly prohibits any study that involves deception, which basically means providing false information to the subjects. If you are not sure whether your study involves deception, please contact the lab director to discuss.
  • Subjects usually expect to be paid in cash on site for their participation. If you use any other payment method, please discuss it with the lab director before you conduct any session.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the lab director and approval for access to the lab will be provided by the lab manager. If you are a visitor conducting research at MonLEE, you must acknowledge the use of MonLEE facilities in relevant working papers and published work.
  • At the end of each year, every user will be required to provide MonLEE with information regarding their usage of the lab. You will receive an email reminder towards the end of the year, requesting you to submit this information. Your cooperation is much appreciated.

Frequently asked questions

If you are a Monash student or staff member, we invite you to register to participate in our paid experiments. Our experiments are designed to examine how people make decisions. You do not need to have taken economics classes to participate, and no special skills or background are required.

The time that an experiment takes varies but is usually between 30 minutes and 2 hours. How much you earn depends on the experiment and the decisions you make, and may also depend on the decisions of other participants. All earnings are paid to you in cash at the end of a session. You can participate in many experiments, but you usually may not participate in more than one session of the same experiment.

Most experimental sessions take place in MonLEE, which is located in the Menzies Building (building 11) on the Clayton campus, in room E957. The easiest way to get there is via the lifts on the north side of the building.

Your registration information is stored securely, and is for our internal use only (we do not share it with anyone else). It is used by our staff to organise and administer experiments; it also enables us to verify your eligibility for particular experiments.

Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email. After this, you will occasionally receive invitation emails for new experiments. To sign up for one of these experiments, simply click on the attached web link (or cut and paste it into a browser). You may participate in as many or as few experiments as you like, and you may cancel your registration at any time.

Learn more about some of the current experiments we are undertaking here.

Sign up now

(You will need to log in using your Monash credentials.)