Welcome to Aton Consulting


 the Aton Experimental Economics Laboratory

Last Updated: November 2016

Aton Consulting is a specialist firm consulting in fin-tech, market design, auctions, clean tech, energy economics, experimental economics and related fields. 

We focus on the application of market design and experimental economics to real world market problems.

As an example of our work, from 2014 to 2016 Aton Consulting was engaged by SocietyOne, one of Australia's leading FinTech companies and the largest Peer-to-Peer (or "marketplace") lender in Australia, to conduct the design and implementation of the SocietyOne market place systems.

We developed with SocietyOne a marketplace using AI/Robotic investor bidding agents participating in a common clearing price auction, taking account of the wide range of specific constraints related to investor portfolio limits and central market stability issues.  Over $100m worth of personal loans have been allocated using these systems.

Other clients have included:

  • the NSW EPA (in respect of the auctions for the permit issuance on the Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme)
  • The Australian Financial Markets Association and The Government of Tasmania (in respect of the auctions of the settlement residues on Basslink)
  • The CSIRO
  • George Mason University
  • The University of Sydney

In 2006 and 2007 Aton operated the SIRCA Experimental Economics Lab (SEELab) in a joint venture with the university owned Securities Industry Research Centre of Asia-Pacific (SIRCA). 

By mutual agreement this JV ended in 2007 and all materials and contracts previously conducted by SEELab have been transferred to the AEELab, many of which are provided for review purposes on this site.

The owner and director of Aton Consulting is Dr. Karel Nolles. 

Karel became involved in experimental economics during his PhD research work commencing in the late 1990's.  He  worked as an academic for a number of years, including with the University of New South Wales (Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Commerce and Economics) and as a visiting research fellow with the ICES experimental economics labs at George Mason University.

The Aton Experimental Economics Laboratory (AEELab) is an independent laboratory providing a range of consulting, software and business services around providing the expertise and infrastructure for experimental economics. 

Experimental economics is a branch of economics looking at how real people behave within economic systems, typically by implementing an economic system in a computer lab, and using real people as participants.

What is Experimental Economics ?

Experimental economics is the application of laboratory methods to test the validity of various economic theories and to test bed new market mechanisms. Using cash-motivated participants, economic experiments create real-world incentives to help us better understand why markets and other exchange systems work the way they do. 

We have listed some papers at the bottom of this page that provide more information about experimental economics as a discipline.

What does the AEELab provide ?

The AEELab exists to support consultants, researchers and academics to conduct and use experimental economics research.  We develop experiments to address specified research questions, and are a research facility in our own right, conducting experiments in respect of our research agenda.  Many of our working papers are available for download on the "papers" page.

In particular, the AEE Lab can provide:

  • Lab management and control software and systems

  • Hosting of experiments in other labs using our web based experiment management systems.

  • Development of experiments, drawing upon our software library of robust and running experiments.

  • Delivery of experiments via our existing labs.

How do I learn more ?

Please contact Karel Nolles:

More information about Experimental Economics ?

You may be interested to read the following materials at the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science at George Mason University.  ICES is headed by Professor Vernon Smith, who was the co-recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics, in recognition of his contributions to the field of Experimental Economics.

The links below take you to the ICES website.  The materials are ICES Copyright.

FAQ about
                                Experimental Economics

FAQ about Experimental Economics

Economics in the

V. Smith, (1994). "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives 8(1), 113-131

                                Methods in Economics

V. Smith, (1987). "Experimental Methods in Economics," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, John Eatwell, Murray Milgate, and Peter Newman

                                Systems as an Experimental Science

V. Smith, (1982). "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review 72(5), 923-955



Why is Market Design important to get right ???

Markets are frequently used to provide important public services - with the intention of driving efficency of delivery....   Are all markets equal for all policy problems?  The link below is to a Video Clip showing a fabulous market in operation.  (They should have asked us to test it first!!!)

Download here (Approx 4MB)