Introduction to Experiment Design with zTree

Module objectives:

The students:

  • learn how to program features of experimental study-designs aimed at observing economic interactions in laboratory settings by using the experimental software zTree (programming experience is not necessary).
  •  are trained on how to implement theoretical design principles in context of behavioral laboratory and online experiments.
  •  Are capable to establish links between practical experiment design, specific research questions and determinants of experimental control.
  •  Are able, in plenary settings, to present in detail their programmed experiments with respect to advantages and disadvantages of chosen design features. 


Methodical expertise regarding conducting and interpreting behavioural experiments proofed to be extraordinarily powerful for economic research topics treating market dynamics, social policy and organisational processes in past decades. This lecture aims at providing an interactive introduction to the experimental programming software zTree as a tool for designing laboratory and online experiments. Thereby an interplay of input-sessions and task solving under supervision will serve as conceptual core guiding students through zTree features and common best practices of programming experiment designs.

Meanwhile the potential of direct methodical adaptations in private and public sector becomes increasingly apparent this lecture will also directly provide students with qualifications that are necessary to conduct an economic experiment in the context of a master-thesis. Note that this lecture complements the seminar “Applied Experimental Economics”, in which students design and run an economic experiment on their own. 

Prerequisites for attending:

  • none

Work load and Credit Points:

56 hours attendance time and 94 learning hours incl. exams / 5CP


  • Weimann, J. & Brosig-Koch, J. (2019). Methods in Experimental Economics. Springer.
  • Fischbacher, Urs. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments." Experimental economics 10.2 (2007): 171-178. 

Letzte Änderung: 29.08.2022 - Ansprechpartner: Webmaster