2002 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences
Vernon L. Smith

Vernon Lomax Smith (born 1 January 1927) is an American professor of economics and law at Chapman University's Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law in Orange, California, a former professor of economics and law at George Mason University, and a board member of the Mercatus Center in Arlington, Virginia. Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman.


Vernon L. Smith (1927- ), The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008
Biographical entry, including list of selected works
"In 2002, Vernon Smith and Daniel Kahneman were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. Smith received his prize 'for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms.' ... In his first semester of teaching economics at Purdue, in the fall of 1955, Smith found it a challenge to present basic microeconomic theory to undergraduates. So the next semester, to make the theory more accessible, he ran a market experiment on the first day of class ..."
Related Topic: Government


TheAdvocates.org - Vernon Smith
200x250 JPEG, color


1 Jan 1927, Vernon Lomax Smith, in Wichita, Kansas

Awards Received

2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
Includes prize lecture, banquet speech and video interview


Independent Institute, Research Fellow
Reason Foundation, Trustee Emeritus
Virginia Institute for Public Policy, Board of Scholars
George Mason University, Professor of Economics and Law
Institute for Humane Studies, Guest lecturer
Mont Pelerin Society, Member

Web Pages

Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Vernon Smith - Libertarian
Includes picture, profile (from article in LP News, Dec 2002) and quote
"A libertarian has been awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering work in 'experimental economics.' On October 9, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences chose Vernon Smith, a professor of economics and law at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to receive the award. Smith, 75, is an originator of experimental economics, a discipline that observes economic behavior in controlled laboratory conditions. Smith's selection was heralded by libertarians. '[Smith] is a champion of individual liberty and market competition,' said George Passantino, public affairs director of the Reason Foundation."
Faculty and Staff: Vernon Smith
Emeritus faculty page; includes photograph and short profile
"Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, 2002, is currently Professor of Economics and Law at George Mason University, a research scholar in the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, and a Fellow of the Mercatus Center all in Arlington, VA. He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Tech, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. ... Previous faculty appointments include the University of Arizona, Purdue, Brown University and the University of Massachusetts."


Vernon L. Smith at IDEAS
RePEc (Research Papers in Economics): 13 books, 32 book chapters, 144 articles and 38 working papers


Free markets king in Sweden, at least for a day: Ten minutes with .... Donald Boudreaux, by Donald J. Boudreaux, Bill Steigerwald, 18 Dec 2002
Comments on Vernon Smith's Nobel Prize and about the firing of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill
"Q: For all the lay people out there, can you give me a description of Smith's 'experimental economics.' What kind of thing does he do?
A: ... He gives money to the subjects in the laboratories and as soon as he gives it to them, it becomes theirs. They can walk out of the room with it. They can do whatever they want with it. It's theirs to win or lose. He creates these very creative experiments that are designed to test the assumptions and the conclusions of economics. What he's found is that markets are even more robust and adept at giving consumers value than even free-market textbooks portrayed."
UpdTackling Straw Men Is Easier than Critiquing Libertarianism, by Sheldon Richman, 5 Dec 2014
Counters John Edward Terrell's critique of libertarianism using quotes from Adam Smith, Vernon Smith and Herbert Spencer
"[In] Russ Roberts's EconTalk interview with Vernon Smith, the Nobel laureate who is steeped in the economics tradition of Adam Smith and F.A. Hayek ..., Vernon Smith notes enthusiastically, "[Adam Smith] says, imagine a person, a member of the species being brought up entirely isolated. ... He says that person can no more understand what it means for his mind to be deformed than for his face to be deformed. And Smith says — I'm paraphrasing — bring him into society and you give him the mirror he needed before. In other words, the looking glass in which we are able to see ourselves as others see us.""


The Experimental Economist: Nobel laureate Vernon Smith takes markets places they've never been before, by Vernon L. Smith, Nick Gillespie, Michael W. Lynch, Reason, 9 Oct 2002
Topics discussed include law (discovered vs. formally made), experimental economics, electric power, demand-interrupt pricing, airport landing and takeoff slots, NASA missions, libertarianism and economics
"We know markets are efficient. We'd like to see if we can come up with market mechanisms that can be applied where they've never been used before. ... My colleagues and I have developed techniques to design market mechanisms that are likely to work in the real world. But we don't trust ourselves without doing experiments. The experiments are the means by which we test our knowledge. We use the laboratory to make our mistakes at low cost-and we make plenty of them. We always learn stuff and end up making changes to our model institutions, to our rules, and to our payoffs."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vernon L. Smith" as of 17 May 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.