The Laboratory for Economics, Management and Auctions (LEMA) provides researchers in economics and management with laboratory environment in which the object of study can be manipulated in a controlled way (much as lab techniques are used in natural sciences).
The lab houses a computer network designed to simulate business activities such as markets and negotiations. Ongoing areas of inquiry include auctions, bargaining and dispute resolution, electronic markets, mechanism design, and decision support systems. In addition to research, LEMA produces classroom software, providing students with hands-on demonstrations of market principles and of decision-making behavior.
LEMA was made possible through grants from IBM, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Smeal College of Business.
Smeal faculty and students are welcome to use LEMA for research purposes. LEMA is also available to demonstrate games and markets to MBA and Ph.D. students. First priority is given to research. LEMA is not available for standard classroom labs. Contact Us for more information.
LEMA provides researchers looking at business and social science questions with the tools to do laboratory work and an environment that encourages fruitful interaction not only across Smeal college but across PSU and beyond to other institutions. (If you would like to understand more about the role of laboratory work in business and social science research, check out the 'What we do' link on this page.)
LEMA actively promotes the transition of software and related tools from research lab to interactive learning tools for the classroom. The lab also provides research opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students through collaborative as well as paid positions with the lab.
LEMA encourages the use of the lab to study applied questions of interest to business and government. The lab also furnishes hand-on demonstrations of business and economic institutions (ex., auctions) and phenomena (ex., the "bull whip" effect in supply chains) to a practitioner and executive audience.
LEMA promotes grant proposals to national agencies such as the National Science Foundation and also takes part in internal initiatives directed at promoting classroom instruction.
LEMA engages in activities that bring together students and faculty from across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.