Behavioral and Experimental Economics Tutorials

University of Oxford


Francis J. DiTraglia


November 8, 2023

What is this?

This document details our tutorial arrangements for Behavioral and Experimental Economics (BEE) at Oxford. It may be updated as the academic year progresses, so make sure to check back regularly. The date of the current version is given above.


Your tutors for this course will be Katharina Janezic and Frank DiTraglia. Tutorials will be split across the year, with three in Michaelmas Term and one in Hilary Term. Katharina will give the first tutorial while Frank will give the remaining three. There will also be a data analysis lecture and a “research day” in Hilary Term, described below. For further information about the course, including project submission requirements, lecture materials, et cetera please see the lecturers’ BEE canvas site. See also the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Tutorial Schedule

Please designate one member of our group to complete this google form to indicate your availability for tutorials in Weeks 5 and 7 of Michaelmas term.

Tutorial #1 - MT Week 3

Katharina will send you details about this tutorial, at which you will narrow down your preliminary ideas and begin to settle on the one idea that you will actually carry out for your BEE project.

Tutorial #2 - MT Week 5

Before this tutorial, you and your group will choose a final project question and prepare a document that includes a detailed literature review and describes your proposed experimental design. Submit your document (one per group) via this Dropbox file request at least 24 hours before your tutorial. Check your email for the submission password. At the tutorial, we will discuss and refine your experimental design and how your topic fits into the literature.

Tutorial #3 - MT Week 7

Before this tutorial, you and your group will prepare a draft ethics application form (CUREC 1 if lab/online experiment, CUREC 2 if field experiment) and write all instructions, scripts, surveys, and recruiting materials for your experiment. Submit these documents (one set per group) via this Dropbox file request at least 24 hours before your tutorial. Check your email for the submission password. You will need to consult this page to learn about the ethics process and complete online ethics training. The forms you will need can be downloaded from here. To help you get started, we have prepared some example ethics forms, included a pre-filled CUREC1 form and specimen consent form. If your experiment is relatively “standard” and ethically unproblematic, you will largely be able to copy-and-paste from these materials. If this sounds intimidating, fear not: tutorials #2 and #3 will discuss the ethics process. As chair of the Departmental Research Ethics Committee, Frank can provide detailed guidance!

Data Analysis Lecture - HT Week 2

Frank will give a lecture on data analysis for BEE from 1-3pm on Thursday of HT Week 2 (January 25th) in the Skills Lab of the Manor Road building. Attendance is strongly strongly strongly recommended. You can view the associated lecture slides at this url. For further information about R, including in-depth tutorials showing how to implement common statistical and econometric procedures, see Frank’s Core ERM Course Materials.

Tutorial #4 - HT Weeks 3-7

The final tutorial is an opportunity for you to get help with whichever aspects of your project that you like. Most groups choose to discuss preliminary results and data analysis. We will schedule these tutorials flexibly between weeks 3 and 7 of HT, depending on when your group finishes carrying out your experiment.

BEE Research Day

We will hold a BEE “Research Day” from 1-4pm on Thursday of HT Week 7 (February 29th - leap year!). This event will provide you and your group with an opportunity to present your results and obtain feedback from the course lecturers and tutors and your fellow students. This feedback will be invaluable as your write your projects over the Easter Vacation. As such, attendance is strongly strongly strongly recommended. Please note that we cannot re-schedule the research day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My question isn’t on the list!

Consult the BEE course website on canvas and make sure you’ve read the course slides. If you question isn’t answered there, than feel free to raise it in the tutorial. Who knows: it may end up as an FAQ for future years!

Where will tutorials take place?

Frank’s tutorials, tutorials #2 through #5, will take place in room 2132 of the Manor Road Building. Katharina will email you with the location of tutorial #1.

How can I find Frank’s office?

Enter the Manor Road Building through the revolving door. When you come through the other side of the revolving door, you’ll be in an atrium with the Social Science Library in front of you and the reception desk to your left. Walk towards the library. You’ll see a staircase on your left. Climb the first flight of stairs and then turn right. You’ll pass the Manor Road Cafe on your right before coming to another atrium with a staircase directly in front of you. Climb the first flight of stairs. You’ll then be facing a pair of glass doors with big banners and signs saying “Economics Department” just to the left of them. Enter the glass doors. You’ll be in a large room full of tables with computers and busy DPhil students working quietly. Turn right and walk straight ahead until you can’t walk any farther. You’ll then be standing in front of my office door: Manor Road Building, Room 2132.

I’m not getting along with my group; what should I do?

A certain amount of disagreement and friction between group members is inevitable in a setting like this. Provided that it doesn’t get out of hand, this is not only healthy but a good learning experience. Almost all real-world research takes place in teams, and learning to navigate this kind of work is an important part of your education. Your tutors will weigh in on substantive disagreements about how best to carry out your projects during the tutorials. But, as a general principle, it is not our place to mediate personal issues that arise in your groups. We understand that you may be apprehensive about group work when it comes to marking. While you are required to work together to design and carry out your experiment, after that point it is up to you how closely you wish to collaborate. Most groups choose to work together on data analysis, but this is not a requirement. Only the “experiment” component of your mark–the part where you are required to collaborate closely–is common across group members. It is possible and indeed fairly common to see marks of 2.ii, 2.i, and 1 for the same experiment. The difference comes down to the write-ups themselves, which are not shared across group members.

How can I find papers to cite and discuss in my literature review?

A good way to get started is by finding an influential paper, call it “paper X,” that is related to your topic and was discussed in the BEE course slides. From there you can use google scholar to do a “forward search” of all later papers that cite “paper X.” Another good way of looking for key papers is by consulting the Handbook of Experimental Economics and Handbook of Behavioral Economics volume 1 and volume 2. You can also try a “blind” google scholar search with keywords related to your topic. A paper that has been heavily-cited can be a good candidate for a subsequent forward search. In general, we would expect most of your citations to come from work published in mainstream economics journals. As a rough guide, here’s a list of the top 100 economics journals according to Tilburg University.

How should we write our literature reviews?

Your literature review should not be a laundry list of papers, nor should it be a totally comprehensive and wide-ranging summary of all research that is even slightly related to your project. A good literature review puts your work in context. What is your question? Why is it interesting? How is it different from or similar to work that has been done before? These are the questions you need to answer with your literature review. It’s much better to have a deep understanding of the most closely-related papers rather than a cursory understanding of papers that are only loosely-connected to your work. Take you cue from the literature reviews in papers that you’ve read in the BEE course.

Will we be given example BEE reports from past years?

No. We want you to try to imitate behavioral/experimental economics papers published in good economics journals rather than student projects from past years. This doesn’t mean that we necessarily expect you to achieve the same standard, but we want you to think of this as a real research project rather than a mere course assignment. At least one past BEE group has published their project.

Will we get feedback on our BEE drafts?

You’ll get feedback on all the materials you submit for your tutorials, but we unfortunately cannot provide feedback on individual draft reports. We will, however, give in-person feedback on your presentations at the BEE Research Day.

Can you help us with our projects outside of tutorials?

In general, no. While we’re happy to answer the occasional quick question by email, tutorials are the place for you to get help with your projects. This keeps the workload manageable and ensures that all groups get roughly the same amount of help with their projects, ensuring that course marks are fair.

We didn’t find any interesting results! Will we get a bad mark?

No. Your mark has nothing to do with whether you found interesting or statistically significant results. It is based on the quality of your idea, your literature review, your experimental design, your data analysis, and your write-up. A well-designed, well-written project that finds no effect whatsoever will still get a first class mark.

What is Qualtrics? How can we access it?

Qualtrics is an online survey platform that is widely-used among applied economists. The Oxford Economics Department has a subscription to Qualtrics.

If you don’t have an email address, we’ll need to add you to Qualtrics manually. Please nominate one member of your BEE group to sign up for Qualtrics. That group member should then send an email to, copying Frank on the message. The subject line should be “Qualtrics Registration without Economics Email Address.” Make sure to send this from your Oxford email address. In the message itself, state your name, say that you are a student in BEE and that you need access to Qualtrics for your project.

If you do have an email address that ends in, then you can sign yourself up as follows:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on ‘Don’t Have an Account?’
  3. Enter your email address (needs to have the domain there is no need to enter an access code.
  4. You will then receive an email to very your email address
  5. Then click on Very My Email and follow the instructions.