Writing an experimental economics thesis

If you are interested in doing your (Masters, Honours or PhD)  thesis research using experiments you will typically go through the steps below. Also see here links to some resources.

1- Finding a research question.
How? Find lots of ideas and disregard bad ones.
Where? Not journals. Look for them in newspapers, magazines, TV, conversations…

2- Formulating hypotheses (either using formal theory or guided by previous empirical findings).

You should start writing your thesis at this stage, e.g. draft literature review and hypotheses sections. Keep writing parts as you go. Don’t be like me and leave everything to the last minute.

3- Designing an experiment to test the hypotheses.

4-  Securing funding for the experiment.

UQ SOE have funds available for Honours and PhD students to conduct experiments. Your supervisor might also have additional funds available.

5- Getting ethical approvals and requesting cash advance from finance to pay participants.

6- Programming the experiment and writing the instructions.

Write the design/methods section of your thesis. 

7- Doing a pilot experiment in the lab.

8- Making a pre-analysis plan (e.g. writing the Stata code) and pre-registering the experiment.

 Write the outline of your results section.

9-Booking the lab and recruiting subjects.

10-Printing instructions, withdrawing cash (notes and coins) to pay the subjects, getting the lab ready.

11- Conducting the experiment.

12-Analysing the data.

13-Writing the results section.

14-Writing the rest of the thesis.

15-Sending your supervisor a complete draft for feedback.   Revising based on feedback and rewriting.

16- Sending your supervisor a complete draft for feedback.   Revising based on feedback and rewriting.

17- Sending your supervisor a complete draft for feedback.   Revising based on feedback and rewriting.

….

20+Submit your thesis!