Buy the Seat of Your Pants: Increasing the Stakes of a Classroom Experiment

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This paper introduces a competitive seat market trade experiment for classroom use. The competitive seat market endows each student with a randomly assigned seat in which the student cannot sit. In order to obtain a seat to sit in, the student must purchase a seat from another student using their own real money. Students who do not purchase seats become “seatless.” After the seat market students may rent or trade seats among themselves before or after class throughout the semester. The seat market generates a real competitive market experience within the classroom with a range of outcomes, including profit and property-lessness.


Ronald Baker and Kirsten Madden

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