Econ. study pads students’ pockets

Katie Silverstein ’11 usually leaves ECON 0110: “Principles of Economics” with just a little more knowledge in her head and a few more notes in her notebook. But on one recent morning, she left with an extra $60 in her wallet.

The source of Silverstein’s windfall was an economics research survey being conducted by Associate Professor of Economics Kfir Eliaz.

Eliaz’s study, in which students fill out a questionnaire and pick a chip out of a bag, has paid out as much as $90 to participating students. Eliaz declined to elaborate on the purpose of the study because it is currently underway.

Eliaz distributed the questionnaire to students in various economics classes. Fifteen lucky students are selected to pick a chip out of the bag. If they get a chip that corresponds to the answers they gave on the questionnaire, the prize for those lucky few is a monetary reward that varies depending on their answers.

The experiment was “pretty exciting – made it worth going to my 9 a.m. class,” said Silverstein, who was one of the 15 students chosen in her class to participate.

Andrea Scharfen ’12, who won $90 in her economics class, said she was very happy when she received her winnings.

With two classes having already participated, the experiment will continue throughout the year and into the fall semester when the research award that supports the experiments will expire, Eliaz said.