Nobel Prize Winner in Economics Visits Campus

  • February 27th, 2018

Acclaimed economist Dr. Vernon L. Smith, 2002 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics, will present a talk about how commonly held and false beliefs about economic behavior and the market have changed over time. The UA community is invited to the discussion, which will take place in the Alston Hall Parlor from 10-11 a.m. on Friday, March 2.

Vernon Smith
Nobel Prize winner Dr. Vernon Smith

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

Deck said, “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.

“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.”

Smith will address two cases of commonly held false beliefs about economic behavior and markets that have changed over time, one from the 1950s-60s and one from the 1980s.

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

Smith 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 president and founder of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics.

Smith has authored or co-authored more than 290 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics, and serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals.

He 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.

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 doctorate in economics at Harvard.

For more information about the lecture or the rest of Smith’s visit, contact Zach Thomas at or 205-348-8318.