Latest News

June 2018

EF 2018, Heidelberg University

Bubbles in Dark Markets and CAPM in Dark Markets are two ULEEF projects that will be presented at the Experimental Finance Conference.

Elena Asparouhova is co-organizing and co-teaching at the Society for Experimental Economics and Finance Summer School .

November 2017

Utah State University Experimental Economics Workshop

Keynote Speakers are the Nobel Laureate Prof. Vernon Smith (Chapman) and Prof. Dan Houser (George Mason University).

The Panel

In this workshop 10 to 12 participants each have one hour to present and discuss their paper. ULEEF's own Corina Besliu and Wenhao Yang are on the program. The focus of this workshop is experimental research with policy relevance.

October 2017

Experimental Finance Meets FMA

BEST PAPER AWARD FOR Wenhao, Elena and Peter!

With the support and encouragement of FMA's President Jeff Coles, the annual meetings hosted 4 sessions with experimental finance research. The group of experimental researches that gathered in Boston included Elena Asparouhova, Corina Besliu, Peter Bossaerts, Nelson Camanho, Sean Crockett, Mark DeSantis, Ann Gillette, Zwetelina Iliewa, Chad Kendall, Brian Kluger, Jennifer Miele, Tibor Neugebauer, Elena Pikulina, David Porter, Sébastien Pouget, Alexander Wagner, and Wenhao Yang.
The sessions, discussions and meals we shared were nothing short of amazing.
Thank you to all who participated!

June 2016

We rolled out the new Software as a Service (SaaS) Flex-E-Markets

Click here for the Flex-E-Markets overview SLIDESHOW in PDF.

Our Pitch

Flex-E-Markets is a self-contained software that allows you to create and manage online double-sided markets on the fly. Traders log into your markets over the internet using a javascript-enabled browser. You determine who can access the marketplaces you organize. When markets close, Flex-E-Markets produces reports for each individual trader, as well as a report for you, the market creator, that contains the entire order and trade flow for all markets. Flex-E-Markets allows you to experiment with new designs. Like putting aprivate “over the counter” market alongside a centralized, public one. You may be interested in experimenting with new securities designs; Flex-E-Markets provides the tool. Or playing with short-sale constraints; adding a tax to each trade; auctioning securities while allowing “grey markets” for delivery after securities are allocated. And of course, you can readily set up “prediction markets” even if it’s only meant for you and your friends to bet on who will win the Euro soccer tournament. One market for each team…

October 2015

Workshop for the Promotion of Experimental Validation of the Theory of Asset Pricing

Click here for the PROGRAM in PDF. Click here for the PROGRAM in HTML with links to papers.

The Panel

The workshop is to brought together experimentalists and theorists working on financial markets, in order to promote the scientific validation of the theory of finance, in the true meaning of the term, through the use of controlled experiments. We hope that the workshop heralds a new era where theorists work in closer collaboration with experimentalists.

February 2015

For a second time, we will organize a trading session during the Utah Winter Finance Conference at Snowbird, Utah. Click here for detailed information.


This year you will be endowed with claims issued against a pool of money. Across several trading rounds, you will be able to trade these claims on an electronic exchange system, Flex-e-Markets. In addition to trading, you will also be able to submit the claims to ULEEF, to be cashed in for a known amount called the face value. The face value increases each trading round. The pool of money is used to pay those who want to cash in. Over time, the money in the pool grows but at a slower rate than the face value.

If there is insufficient money in the pool to honor the requested cash-ins at face value, the pool is put into liquidation and all outstanding claims will be paid pro rata. Trading will last at most 5 rounds. Earnings equal final cash minus the cash you are initially endowed with.

Acknowledgment: Funding for the 2015 UWFC trading exercise is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant SES-1426428

December 2014

'Lucas' in the Laboratory, with by Elena Asparouhova, Peter Bossaerts, Nilanjan Roy, and Bill Zame forthcoming in the Journal of Finance

We study the Lucas asset pricing model in a controlled setting. Key experimental design features allow us to emulate the stationary, infinite-horizon setting of the model and to incentivize participants to smooth earnings (consumption) across periods. Consistent with the Lucas model, prices were aligned with consumption betas, they commoved with aggregate dividends, and more strongly so in sessions with higher risk premia. Trading significantly increased participants’ payoffs relative to the autarky as it smoothed their consumption. Nevertheless, prices were excessively volatile: at most 18\% of price changes was explained by aggregate dividends; the remainder was noise. This corrupted traditional GMM tests of the model because these rely on returns and returns were computed as ratios of noisy prices. Choices displayed substantial heterogeneity, to the extent that the average trades and prices did not reflect the experience of any one individual.

August 2014

Learning About Unstable, Publicly Unobservable Payoffs, by Peter Bossaerts and Elise Payzan-LeNestour is forthcoming in the Review of Financial Studies

Neoclassical finance assumes that investors are Bayesian. In many realistic situations, Bayesian learning is challenging. We study investment opportunities that change randomly, while payoffs are only observable when investment takes place. In a stylized version of the task, we investigate whether performance is affected if one were to follow reinforcement learning principles instead. The answer is a definite yes. Participants overwhelmingly learned in a Bayesian way. They stopped being Bayesians, though, when not nudged into paying attention to contingency shifts. This raises an issue for financial markets: who has the incentive to nudge investors?

June 2014

Nature’s Scientific Reports publishes study on competitive strategy among chimpanzees entitled "Chimpanzee choice rates in competitive games match equilibrium game theory predictions"

Chimpanzees evidently are better than humans to figure out opponents’ incentives in a competitive game, and end up playing closer to predictions of mathematical game theory. Collaboration with the Camerer lab at Caltech.