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Learning from experience or learning for convenience?

Duccio Martelli (Faculty of Finance, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Article publication date: 18 November 2013




This paper aims to understand whether the initiative of financial education through the use of simulations effectively teaches participants to operate in the markets in a profitable manner, while avoiding some cognitive biases.


The use of simulations and computer applications in financial markets is now recognized as effective teaching methodology in the field of financial education, thanks to the active involvement of the participants in the learning process. This paper analyses a case study, taking into consideration from a qualitative point of view transactions made in the financial markets, with real money, by a group of teams composed of university students.


The first results of the analysis show how the simulation does not allow for a significant improvement in the performance of the teams over the course of the game; on the contrary, most of the teams seem to show increasingly speculative, and indeed opportunistic, behavior as the end of the competition approaches. These conclusions can be extended to most simulations carried out in the financial markets that, as with the game studied in this analysis, demonstrate an asymmetry in the final phase and the remuneration of the participants.


This contribution is therefore unique due to the subject of the analysis: up to this point there have not been any other trading simulations at the international level where the money invested was actually real.



JEL classification – G11, G12, G19. The author would like to thank Directa SIMpA for the concession of the use of data.


Martelli, D. (2013), "Learning from experience or learning for convenience?", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 244-255.



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