Who is Vernon L. Smith?

Vernon L. Smith is considered the “father of experimental economics” for having laid the foundations and the conceptual frame of this branch of economics.

In 2002, Vernon Smith shared the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel Kahneman for “having established the use of experiments in a laboratory as a tool in the empirical microeconomic analysis, particularly in regards to the study of mechanisms of alternative markets”.

A large amount of the research for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize was carried out at the University of Arizona between 1976 and 2002. In 2002 he became part of the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) of George Mason University. In 2008, Vernon Smith founded the Economic Science Institute (ESI) in Chapman University, where he currently works.

In many of his works, Vernon Smith has shown the importance of diverse market institutions (e.g. how the different types of auctions produce varying results). He has also designed numerous wind tunnel tests in order to examine the properties of alternative designs of institutions of exchange and/or allocation, before these are put into practice (e.g. in electric energy markets).

Vernon Smith has also been part of the editorial board of several scientific journals (Science, American Economic Review, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Economic Methodology, Economic Design, Economic Theory, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, etc.).

He is a distinguished member of the American Economic Association and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and has been a fellow of various scientific associations (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Econometric Society, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Cowles Foundation, etc.).

Vernon Smith has visited the UFM in three different occasions: in 2004, when he received an honoris causa doctorate, in 2010, when he officially visited the center for experimental economics research named after him, and in 2012, as a participant of the experimental economics conference held in Antigua.