Winter School
Survey Design and Experimental Methods in
Applied and Agricultural Economics

Arizona State University, USA
March 16-20, 2020

Course Description

Some of the great challenges of Western societies revolve around sustainable consumption and healthy food choices. Malnutrition and obesity resulting from poor nutritional behavior contributes to high healthcare costs as well as increasing external costs throughout the economy. This leads to an increasing need for primary data in food, health, and environmental economics research. Recently, an uptick in such studies has been observed, driven by the need for such estimates to inform cost-benefit analysis, the need to understand problems with increased external validity, and to account for hypothetical bias in making informed inference, etc. As these approaches have grown increasingly popular, the focus on experimental economics is timely.

The main objective of the winter school is to deliver an organic treatment of theoretical and practical knowledge so as to enable participants to design surveys and employ experimental methods. More specifically, this school serves as an introduction to state-of-the-art methods to address marketing research questions related to preferences, willingness to pay, and choice. Underlying psychographic determinants are also covered. In addition, delegates will be familiarized with state-of-the-art software, and design their own practice experiment through hands-on training. As such, the Winter School is an opportunity for young scholars who want to learn these methods to incorporate them in their theses, for experienced academics who want to include this in their research agendas, as well as, for practitioners to enhance their own business-practices.

The Winter School will take place at Arizona State University. Taught by experts from Arizona State University, Cornell University, Michigan State University, Purdue University, and Susquehanna University, the school will consist of a variety of lectures, software introduction, and hands-on training. Fusing knowledge from agribusiness, agricultural economics, consumer studies, marketing and applied economics the school will cover the basics required for successfully using surveys and experiments in research studies. This includes designing stand-alone or accompanying surveys, choice experiments, and auctions to collect data; as well as, related data analysis, interpretation of results, and deriving recommendations to stakeholders. After completing this Winter School, the participant will be able to design a survey instrument, stated choice experiment, and auctions. In addition, the participants will be able to analyze survey data using multi-variate methods, stated choice data by estimating discrete choice models, and auction data using Tobit models. Furthermore, the curriculum includes how to assess published evidence, interpret results and derive recommendations for stakeholders.