EC224-Games and Economic Behaviour

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Steven Bosworth


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module uses the online platform to cover a range of topics in the economic curriculum interactively. Each week students will be active participants in one or more models of an economic phenomenon. These will be implemented as online games. By participating in the game-based versions of each model students will gain greater insight into the assumptions and mechanisms underlying models of economic behaviour. Lectures will also use the opportunity to highlight precisely where these models might break down. 


This module aims to complement the compulsory Part 2 economic theory modules EC201 and EC202 by demonstrating the models learned in those modules in action. Students should be able to reflect on the assumptions underlying those models and gain perspective on where economic models can be applied, as well as which ones are most relevant.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students are expected to be able to analyse the results of experimental economic games using appropriate quantitative inference techniques. Furthermore, students should be able to describe in words what motivates commonly observed strategies in economic models and how those individual strategies generate aggregate economic outcomes.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to introduce students to experimental economics more generally and reinforce topics learned elsewhere in the curriculum in an intuitive but critical way.

Outline content:

Markets and efficiency, consumption and production theory, oligopolistic competition, externalities and market failures, public goods, trust, asymmetric information, monetary economics, financial markets, matching and auctions.

Global context:

This is an optional module available to Part 2 Economics degree programs, and builds on topics covered in EC201 Intermediate Microeconomics and EC202 Intermediate Macroeconomics. The module also serves as an entry point to the methods of EC321 Experimental Economics and topics covered in EC343 Behavioural Economics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures will introduce the games and models to be discussed and also serve as the principal environment for interacting with models in the form of online games. Participation in these games will be tracked and is compulsory. Additional games to play outside of lecture will enrich understanding of the topics. Lecture notes and other guidance will be provided via Blackboard. Critical reflection on the underlying strategic incentives of the games and models will be assessed by class test. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 30
    Advance preparation for classes 30
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 30
    Revision and preparation 35
    Essay preparation 25
    Reflection 20
Total hours by term 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 40
Portfolio 20
Class test administered by School 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are two summative assessments. The first asks students to use one of the experimental datasets produced by the class to generate descriptive statistics and use those descriptive statistics to draw conclusions. This takes the form of a report to be turned in during the summer term and is worth 40 percent of the module mark. The other summative assessment is a class test, to take place at the end of the spring term and is worth another 40 percent of the module mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Students are required to participate in the games, which are tracked. This participation forms 20 percent of the module mark. Since results are in realtime, the module convener goes over them in lecture, talks about the theory (and its intuition), and then compares the results with the theory, with reference to the behavioural economics literature. Asking students about how they made their decisions forms a part of this discussion.

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum overall mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by alternative class test.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 March 2021


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