LeeX, a brief history

Universitat Pompeu Fabra's life begins in 1990-1991. During 1991 we start moving to get an experimental lab in our Department of Economics and Business. Antoni Bosch-Domènech is the director of the project. In June 1991 we have managed to install and run a network of five computers. Charles Plott has provided us with MUDA, a program that runs double auction experiments. We invite Shawn LaMaster, then the technician at the University of Arizona's experimental lab, to visit us. He installs in our server several of the programs then in use at Arizona and fiddles with the network to ensure that it works properly.
In October 1991 IBM gives us ten 386 color computers (20Mhz) which are added to the network. During the following months we keep testing the network, which is unreliable at times. In January we are pretty sure that things run smoothly and we organize an official inauguration of the lab which, by that time, is being called LeeX (Laboratori d'Economia Experimental). Four months later, in May 1992, we have ExpEcon0, the first Workshop on Experimental Economics at UPF. 

As a historical curio, here is the program of the first workshop at LeeX: 
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Balmes 132, Barcelona
May 17-19, 1992


Sunday, May 17th, 8:00 pm:

  • Cocktail at my place.
    Address: Manacor, 3. I recommend that you take a taxi. You may have to tell the driver that the place is behind Clinica St. Josep, en el barrio del Putget. Ring the bell marked "1". In case you get lost, my telephone number is: 212 0693.


Monday, May 18th:

  • Workshop, 1st session, 9:30-11:30, Room 313
    • 9:30-9:55: "Evolutionary Games Experiments"
      Dan Friedman, University of California at Santa Cruz
    • 9:55-10:10, discussion. 
      Discussant: Isabel Sánchez, U. Carlos III.
    • 10:10-10:35: "Competence Effects in Experimental Markets"
      Martin Weber, Universität zu Kiel
    • 10:35-10:50, discussion.
      Discussant: Mark Olson, U. Amsterdam.
    • 10:50-11:15: "Quotas in Coalition Bargaining"
      Reinhard Selten, Universität zu Bonn
    • 11:15-11:30, discussion. 
      Discussant: Dan Friedman, U. of California.


  • General Public Session, Ground Floor
    • 12:00-12:45: "Experimental Methods in Economics"
      Vernon Smith, University of Arizona
  • Visit to LeeX, 1:00-1:45, Mezzanine
  • Cocktail-Standing lunch, 1:45-2:45, Terrace, 6th Floor
  • Workshop, 2nd session, 3:00-5:00, Room 313
    • 3:00-3:25: "An Experimental Examination of the Assignment Problem"
      Mark Olson, Universiteit van Amsterdam
      3:25-3:40, discussion. 
      Discussant: Jordi Brandts, UAB.
    • 3:40-4:05: "A Comparative Analysis of Efficiency of Economic Institutions with Zero Intelligence Traders"
      Shyam Sunder, Carnegie-Mellon University
      4:05-4:20, discussion. 
      Discussant: Reinhard Selten, U. Bonn.
    • 4:20-4:45: "Focal Points and Bargaining"
      Ken Binmore, University of Michigan
      4:45-5:00, discussion. 
      Discussant: Graham Loomes, York U.
  • Dinner, 9:00, Restaurant Oliver, Muntaner 171.


Tuesday, May 19th

  • Workshop, 3rd session, 9:30-11:30, Room 313
    • 9:30-9:55: "Excess Volatility and History Dependence in 
      Experimental Monetary Economies"
      Ramon Marimon, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
      10:35-10:50, discussion. 
      Discussant: Charles Plott, Caltech.

    • 10:10-10:35: "Endowment Effects for Risky Assets"
      Graham Loomes, York University
      10:35-10:50, discussion.
      Discussant: Shyam Sunder, Carnegie-Mellon

    • 10:50-11:15: "Wages, Prices and Comparative Advantage. Laboratory Investigations of International Economics Principles"
      Charles Plott, California Institute of Technology
      11:15-11:30, discussion.
      Discussant: Vernon Smith, U. of Arizona.


Contents of Vernon's Inagural lecture

The official inauguration does not change the fact that for a few years there is only one researcher in the lab, its so-called Director, with Ramon Marimon neither here nor there and Jordi Brandts, from IAE, dropping by to run an occasional experiment.  Then, in 1995, we manage to attract Rosemarie Nagel, and the number of experimenters doubles suddenly. In 1998 it is Gary Charness who joins LeeX, alas, for only two years, and in 2000, Robin Hogarth... Looking now at the roster of experimenters in LeeX bears witness to its expansion, parallel to the explosion of experiments in economics during the last decade.