FAQ

FAQ

The name elfe is an abbreviation for „Essener Labor für experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung“. The laboratory was solemnly opened in 2009 with a speech of Nobel prize winner Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Reinhard Selten and is since then used by researchers of the Univerisity of Duisburg-Essen as well as by visiting scholars. By now, over 200 experimental sessions from different projects have been carried out at elfe. The resulting scientific findings have already been published in various international journals.

The laboratory is excellently equipped for exploring economic interaction and communication. Currently it is compiled of 25 modern computer working places including 12 soundproof cabines that are connected through a video- and audio conference system. It is thus possible to analyze the effect of different kinds of communication on economic decision making under controlled circumstances.

How do people decide in social dilemmas and which role does communication play besides? How can internet auctions or emission trading markets be designed?

Experimental economic research tries to answer questions like these. Individual decisions under controlled conditions are observed - usually in a laboratory like elfe. Thus existing economic theories can be checked on the one hand and on the other hand, new economic behavioral models can be developed which are based on results of the experimental research.

Besides classical experiments in the lab, it is also possible to carry out experiments with communication (audio conferences as well as video conferences) or experiments via Internet in the elfe.

In the beginning, participants are made familiar with the rules of the particular experiment. Afterwards they will have to make their decisions, mostly at the computer. During the experiments, participants will never be deceived. Generally, this is forbidden in experimental economics.

Everyone who is interested can register for participation in experiments. The experiments are usually conducted at display work stations. Therefore please make sure to be able to interact at a regular display work station.

No, previous knowledge is not required and basically not advantageous either.

The elfe in located at Schützenbahn campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen (Essen, near Cafeteria CaSchü). It’s about ten minutes walking distance from the main campus and just few meters from the stations „Rheinischer Platz“ and „Viehofer Platz“. The entrance is located at Waldthausenstraße.

Enclosed, you can find the journey description via car and public transportation. If you arrive by airplane - e.g. Düsseldorf Airport - you can inform yourself on the websites of the German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB)  or via the regional transportation network VRR about connections to Essen central station. Note that structural alteration works can lead to delays.

Directions by public transportation:

To get to the elfe by public transport use tram line 107 (direction "Gelsenkirchen Hbf") or line 108 (direction "Altenessen Bf") from Essen main station. Trams depart every 10 minutes and it takes about 4 minutes to get to "Viehofer Platz". There, take the exit "Stoppenberger Straße". Turn left after the escalator. Use the pedestrian lights to your left and follow the footpath to the main entrance straight ahead. Enter the building of Campus Schützenbahn (old building). Walk across this building. Now you are on "Waldthausenstraße". Turn right. After 30 metres, on the left hand side, you will find the Essen Laboratory for Experimental Economics in building SL, room 011.

Public transport:  

Station Rheinischer Platz: tram 101, 103, 105, 106 and 109; busses 147 and 145

Station Viehofer Platz: tram 107 and 108; busses 145, 147, 154, 155 and 196 

Directions by car:

<span lang="EN-US">Coming from Düsseldorf on A52 in direction Essen please take the exit "Essen-Süd", exit Nr. 29. Please follow the course of the road in direction “Zentrum/ Uni”. Now you follow "Richard-Wagner-Straße" which leads into "Helbingstraße". Remain on this street and drive in direction "Altenessen/ Uni" or "City-Ring". Thus, you head to "</span>Bernestraße", which <span lang="EN-US">leads into </span>"Schützenbahn". Follow the signs to "Altenessen" and remain on "Schützenbahn". There you drive through a tunnel. Directly after the tunnel exit you turn right at the next traffic lights into "Gerlingstraße". Then take the next opportunity to do a U-turn and then turn right into "Waldhausenstraße", from which you reach the Laboratory on the right side in the building SL, room 011.

Coming from Dortmund/Bochum on A40 please take the exit "Essen-Frillendorf", exit Nr. 26. Drive along "Frillendorfer Straße" in direction "Bottrop/ Uni", until reaching the second traffic lights. Turn right into "Burggrafenstraße", then turn left into "Gerlingstaße" after the second traffic lights (direction "Zentrum"). After approx. 800 meters turn right into "Waldhausenstraße", from which you reach the Laboratory on the right side in the building SL, room 011.

Coming from Duisburg on A40 please take the exit "Essen-Zentrum-Ost", exit Nr. 23. Drive in direction "Altenessen/ Uni" and follow the course of the road "Bernestraße" which leads into "Schützenbahn". Follow the signs in direction "Altenessen" and don´t leave "Schützenbahn". There you drive through a tunnel. Directly after the tunnel exit you turn right at the next traffic lights into "Gerlingstraße". Then take the next opportunity to do a U-turn and then turn right into "Waldhausenstraße", from which you reach the Laboratory on the right side in the building SL, room 011.

Parking:

Directly in front of the office building "Schützenbahn" on the side to "Gerlingstraße" there is a small parking space which is protected by a barrier. You can park in front of the small parking. Alternatively, there is a possibility to park near the office building at the roadside ("Gerlingstraße" or "Waldthausenstraße"). Please have a look at our position plan of Campus Schützenbahn.

There are no general rules for the dates of experiments. But in principle we try to choose dates which are convenient for you. We will inform you about the exact dates in the invitation email so that you can check before registering whether you are available.

Please have a look at our email invitation.

Basically, there is a compensation for every experiment. The amount of the payments is determined by your decisions and those of the other participants. However, we give no information about the exact expectancy value and the lower and upper limit for scientific reasons. 

Payments in most experiments are determined by your decisions and those of the other participants. Consequently payments of participants within one experiment can vary.

It is expected that you arrive at the laboratory before the indicated time, so that the experiment can begin in time. Since the experiments are very expensive in execution, we cannot wait for late participants. Participants coming too late endanger the execution of the experiments. Consider that the experiments are always conceived for a certain number of participants. If only one participant is missing the experiments often cannot be accomplished. 

No. This is forbidden in experimental economic research.

In general in experiments at elfe no pharmaceuticals are given. It is also not planned currently to deviate from this principle. If such experiments take place in the future, this will definitely be announced in the invitation for the experiment, so that potential participants are informed before their decision on participation.

After a detailed analysis of the raw data, the results will be presented in working papers or so called "discussion papers" to an interested audience. These papers will then be handed in to scientific journals for publication, e.g. American Economic Review or Experimental Economics. With the publication in such a journal, the paper will be made available to a wide scientific audience.

Past projects at elfe dealt for instance with the determinants of solidarity behavior or with the analysis of different market- and auction designs. Currently, researchers in Essen analyze amongst others dynamic decision making, processes of knowlegde transfer as well as problems in the field of experimental health economics.

Online: elfe.uni-due.de  

Via email: elfe@uni-due.de 

You can register non-bindingly at elfe.uni-due.de to the participants database of elfe. Invitations for particular experiments will only be sent through this database and are addressed to a special target group, depending on the scientific research question. 

Just before your first participation in a laboratory experiment you can hand in the signed rules-form to the person in charge of the experiment. The corresponding form will be handed out in the laboratory then.

Please keep in mind that internet experiments may have special rules to agree to.

After an experiment we need time to put down the participation data on the database. As long as the experimentalist has not put down these data, three question marks appear as participation status for the experiment. When the data are put down then, it changes to “yes” or “no”.

Nearly all experiments are accomplished at various different dates. Usually one can register only for one date per experiment. Then the other dates disappear from the list. Generally speaking: Per invitation email, one registration is possible.

Basically, signing off from an experiment is not possible. You have to check whether you are available for an experiment, BEFORE you sign in for a specific date. If you get ill or are not able to come because of unusual circumstances, please answer your invitation email AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE and explain your situation. We will then log you out. Consider that the experiments are always conceived for a certain number of participants. If only one participant is missing, the experiments can often not be accomplished.

No. Often participants are selected with the help of the information in our system (e.g., field of study) or with the help of the experiments in which they have already taken part. If you cannot come to an experiment, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the beginning of the experiment. For further information please read the answer to the question "How can I sign off from an experiment?"

If we invite you to an experiment, you can take part in the experiment only if you expressly accept. You give your assent by clicking the link in the invitation-e-mail and the choice of a free date and time. After the assent you receive once again a confirmation email with the data of the appointment. After accepting an appointment, you must come in any way. On the topic "cancelation" please read the appropriate question in the FAQ. Consider that the experiments are always designed for a certain number of participants. If only one participant is missing, the experiments can often not be accomplished.

In this case we would like to ask you to use the link which we suspend to all our e-mails. This leads you comfortably to your profile. There you can carry out the desired changes. If you have no more access to this link, please contact our administrators.

No. Every person in our data bank must give an own, unequivocal e-mail address.

Please avoid wrong information when resgistering. This information is vital for the scientific evaluation of the experiments. Furthermore you are not invited any more to experiments if you make false statements. If you do not want to give certain information, leave the respective fields open. However, additional information increases the chance to be invited to an experiment.

On average about 1.5 hours. The duration of the experiment will always be highlighted in the invitation.

 

You can register directly here through the menu item "Enroling for experiments". After registration you will be part of the mailing list. You will then be invited for experiments via email. If you want to take part, use the link in the email to register for one of the dates.

Everone independent of his/her field of study and occupation is invited to apply for the experiments. Some experiments are performed to control for some effects or focus on issues requiring special skills. By delivering more information you increase your chances to be invited.