Nobel Prize Winning Economist Vernon Smith to Present at Culverhouse

  • March 02, 2018

Tuscaloosa, AL – Acclaimed economist Dr. Vernon L. Smith, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics, will present a talk at the Culverhouse College of Commerce at The University of Alabama about how commonly held and false beliefs about economic behavior and the market have changed over time. The entire University of Alabama community was invited to the discussion, which will take place in the Alston Hall Parlor from 10-11 a.m. on Friday, March 2nd.

Vernon Smith
Nobel Prize winner Dr. Vernon Smith will discuss his research in experimental economics in a public talk 10-11 a.m. Friday, March 2 in Alston Hall's Fourth Floor Parlor.

Register now for the discussion. Seating limited to 100 people. Registration is now closed. 

Culverhouse professor and Bidgood Chair in Economics and Finance Cary Deck was instrumental in bringing Dr. Smith to The University of Alabama campus to participant in a series of engagements, including the public talk.

Dr. Deck said that, “It is a great opportunity for our community to hear from such a respected voice in the field of economics. Dr. Smith’s work has consistently shown how we can gain tremendous social and policy insights when we treat economics as an experimental science.” Dr. Deck added, “Although people may think of the field as the dismal science, everyone will find value in this talk because Vernon shows that economics is really a human endeavor.”

Any press inquiries about the public lecture or the rest of Dr. Vernon Smith’s visit can be directed to Zach Thomas, Culverhouse Director of Marketing and Communications at or 205-348-8318.

About the Talk

Science provides many examples in which information gained from experiments fails to confirm widely held beliefs. Although beliefs eventually change, the process is commonly slow and resisted. This “confirmation bias” is surely good insofar as beliefs only change in response to stable and well-established evidence, but it also discourages entirely new thinking.

This lecture will address two cases of commonly held false beliefs about economic behavior and markets that have changed over time.

First, in the 1950s-1960s, the false belief that complete information is necessary for achieving convergence to efficient competitive outcomes as predicted by abstract supply and demand theory. Ultimately, these experiments led directly to, or foreshadowed, the development of new markets in the electric power, transportation and communication industries.

Second, in the 1980s, the false belief that complete information asset markets cannot yield price bubbles, defined as prices that deviate systematically from the asset’s fundamental value.

Dr. Smith will also discuss this work with respect to joint research with Steve Gjerstad into the recent housing bubble crisis.

About Dr. Vernon L. Smith

Dr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics. He has the George L. Argyros Chair in Finance and Economics, and is a Research Scholar in the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University. He is the President and founder of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics since 1997. 

Dr. Smith has authored or co-authored more than 290 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. He serves or has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Review, The Cato Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Science, Economic Theory, Economic Design, Games and Economic Behavior, The Independent Review and the Journal of Economic Methodology

Dr. Smith is a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, and the 1995 Adam Smith Award recipient conferred by the Association for Private Enterprise Education. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1995, and received CalTech's distinguished alumni award in 1996. He has served as a consultant on the design of electric power systems in Australia and New Zealand and participated in numerous private and public discussions of regulatory reform in the United States. In 1997 he served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member, National Electric Reliability Council. 

Dr. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, his master's degree in economics at the University of Kansas, and his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard.


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