Centro Vernon Smith coordinates visits of experts in the field of Experimental Economics so that students, professors, and friends of UFM, as well as fellow researchers and the general public can interact with pioneers and leaders of the experimental sciences. We strive to promote the interaction with said experts through experiments, interviews, seminars, conferences, lunches, and other activities.
Vernon L. Smith (June 17th – 20th, 2010)
Dr. Vernon L. Smith, known as the father of experimental economics, shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman for having established the use of experiments in a laboratory as a tool in the empirical economic analysis. This was the second occasion in which Dr. Smith visited the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the first being in 2004, year in which he received an honoris causa doctorate from the UFM.
On this particular occasion, Dr. Vernon Smith officially visited the Experimental Economics Center named after him for the first time and shared his experience as a pioneer in economic research with students and professors from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
Vernon Smith delivered a talk titled Discovering Exchange, Specialization and Property strictly to the student body and professors, whereas the talk The Housing Bubble and Crash that Engulfed the Economy: Casual Similarities with the 1920’s and its Aftermath was open for the general public and counted with the attendance of over 500 people.
Dr. Smith also participated in the Experimental Economics Conference held in Antigua alongside distinguished Guatemalan economists and academics. The theme of the workshop revolved around how bubbles are formed in the markets for financial assets and the differences between these and other markets. During this event, Dr. Smith was interviewed by the dean of the faculty of economic sciences of the UFM, Fritz Thomas.
As a way of closing the workshop, Dr. Smith summarized and shared with the audience his trajectory and experience in experimental research.
David Reiley (March 13th – 18th, 2011 and September 2nd – 6th, 2013)
Dr. David Reiley holds a Ph.D in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has taught at the University of Arizona and the Vanderbilt University. He worked for Yahoo! as Principal Research Scientist, as a Research Scientist for Google and as a Research Scientist at Pandora. Dr. Reiley is considered a pioneer in, and advocate for, the use of field experiments in economics and advertising.
David Reiley visited our campus twice in order to lead the 2nd (2011) and 3rd (2013) Student Workshops, activities that are open for all students in their last two years of high school education. He also delivered two public talks, the first one regarding the use of field experiments to assess the impact of marketing and advertising (2011), and the second one about measuring the effectiveness of online advertising via controlled experiments (2013). Both talks were aimed at marketing experts but open to the general public. He also delivered a talk titled “The Economics of Email Spam” (2013) to the students of the faculty of economic sciences of the UFM.
Dr. Reiley also delivered other talks during his visit, one of them titled Does Retail Advertising Work? Measuring the Effects of Advertising on Sales Via a Controlled Experiment on Yahoo! (2011), and the other one named Northern Exposure: A Field Experiment Measuring Externalities between Search Advertisements (2011).
Charles Plott (February 19th – 28th, 2014)
From the 19th to the 22nd of February of 2014, Dr. Charles Plott participated as one of three keynote speakers in the 2nd Antigua Experimental Economics Conference, organized by CVS. In this event, one of the strong highlights was the talk “Large Constrained Auctions: The Victoria Gaming Machine Auction”.
On the 28th of February, Dr. Plott visited the UFM in order to perform three specific activities related to the faculty of economic sciences. The first activity was a talk to the students of the faculty of economic sciences titled “Behind the scenes of supply and demand”. During the talk, Dr. Plott explained how the experimental methodology has been implemented to examine the behavior of buyers and sellers in order to better comprehend the high levels of efficiency that can be achieve in decentralized markets and the role of buyers and sellers in the determination of prices.
The second activity was a lunch with professors of economics of the UFM interested in discussing Dr.
Plott’s trajectory and his views on the use of experimental methodology as means of understanding the economic sciences.
The third activity was a visit to CVS alongside its director (Diego Aycinena) and staff (Mario Gómez, Francisco Lemus, and José Solís). In that particular visit, Dr. Plott gave us feedback regarding the software we use, and he also shared his thoughts on new projects that could be carried out at the CVS.
Stephen Rassenti (March 31st – April 3rd, 2009)
El Dr. Stephen Rassenti es doctor en Ingeniería en Sistemas de la Universidad de Arizona y lleva más de 20 años colaborando con el Dr. Vernon Smith, aplicando las herramientas de economía experimental para investigar la organización y diseño de mercados de energía eléctrica y mercados conectados a la red. Actualmente, el Dr. Rassenti trabaja en la Universidad Chapman, en California.
Para esa ocasión, el Dr. Rassenti participó en presentaciones a alumnos de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, especialmente a los alumnos de la carrera de Ingeniería Empresarial. Asimismo, participó en el I Taller Estudiantil dirigido a alumnos de diferentes colegios de la Ciudad de Guatemala, quienes tuvieron la oportunidad de dialogar con el Dr. Rassenti temas relacionados con la economía experimental y el mercado de activos.
También dirigió las sesiones del Taller de Mercados de Energía Eléctrica dirigidas a personas involucradas en el mercado energético. Al final, el Dr. Rassenti participó en un panel de discusión, en donde se dialogó sobre experimentos aplicados a la energía eléctrica.
Rimvydas Baltadounis (del 25 de marzo al 3 de abril del 2009)
Stephen Rassenti holds a Ph.D in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona and has collaborated with Dr. Vernon Smith for over 20 years, implementing experimental economic tools to examine the organization and design of electric energy markets. At present, Dr. Rassenti works at Chapman University, in California.
In this occasion, Dr. Rassenti attended various presentations delivered by students of the faculty of economic sciences. He mainly attended the presentations delivered by students majoring in Corporate Engineering. He also participated in the 1st Student Workshop aimed at Guatemalan high school students, all of who had the chance of talking with Dr. Rassenti about topics related to experimental economics and the asset market.
Dr. Rassenti also led the sessions of the Electric Energy Markets Workshop, aimed at people involved in the energy market. At the end, Stephen Rassenti partook in a discussion panel regarding the implementation of experiments in the field of electric energy.