California Institute of Technology

Laboratory for Experimental Economics and Political Science

Welcome to the home page for Caltech's Laboratory for Experimental Economics and Political Science (EEPS). The Laboratory is devoted to the development and applications of a laboratory experimental methodology for a broad range of disciplines. Laboratory experimental research began at Caltech in 1972 with the early experiments of Professor Charles R. Plott, who is the current Director of the Laboratory. Laboratory research is focused on basic research issues, applied research issues, and the development of supporting technology. Basic science includes the principles of behavior of single and multiple market systems in relation to parametric and institutional settings; the principles of behavior in relation to voting and political institutions; and the strategic behavior of game theory. Applied research includes policy related research, the development of prototype markets, smart markets, and the actual implementation of new forms of markets.

An interview with Charles Plott, in October 2003, shows the value of experimental methods.
Another interview with Charles Plott, in April 2008, talks about Experimental Economics.


The laboratory is located in Baxter Hall at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA 91125. Correspondence should be sent to the Director. The personnel of the laboratory are members of the Caltech faculty and the technical and administrative staff of the Laboratory. The laboratory has a long history of productive research. Parts of this research can be viewed from the lists below. The Laboratory has a policy of making available to the scientific community software used in experiments together with such documentation that is available. The software is free of charge. The Laboratory maintains a small library. The holdings of the library can be viewed. Maintenance of these holdings operates on a volunteer basis, so viewers are asked to send copies of papers that should be included but are not there.



Administrative and technical staff, faculty users.


A history of the Laboratory and some of the major contributions that the Laboratory has produced.



Experiments are conducted electronically through networked computers. Two types of examples will be found here. (1) In some cases the programs are active in the sense that you will be able to login. However all markets are closed so you will not be able to participate. You will be able to access and study all screens, see the graphs of data and other materials that were available to the subjects at the time of participation. (2) In other cases you will be able to view only the time series of prices that were produced by the market.



Here you will find accelerated replays of experimental data. Real people making real decisions produced these data. They are not computer-generated simulations. Sometimes the movement in data allows one to observe the principles at work without the need for complex statistical representations.


Software developed in the Laboratory and made available to the profession.


A listing of published and unpublished papers in the Laboratory library.