It is hard to imagine a world without communication. People rely on communication to share knowledge, coordinate actions, and persuade others. In this way, communication can increase the efficiency of economic transactions. But communication can also be used to mislead others and lower trust. In this way, it may be harmful to efficient economic interactions. This makes it important to know how good people are at convincing others or catching lies. Over the past decade, much progress has been made in understanding the various ways that communication may affect economic behavior. Much of this increased knowledge can be attributed to the use of experimental methods.
In this summer school, we discuss the experimental approach to studying the effects of communication in economic decision making. We review the state-of-the-art experimental research. Experts in the field will cover topics such as fake news, cheap talk, coordination problems, deception, lie-detection, and persuasion. We also discuss the use of different methods, including laboratory and field experiments, chat, and text analysis. This is, however, primarily a hands-on course. In small teams, you will design and run your own experiment on communication and present the results.