The Voice

Master scholar still speaking at 91 years old

Jimel Calliste, Staff Writer

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     Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Department of Economics hosted a lecture presented by Dr.Vernon L Smith as part of its Guest Lecture Series. Dr. Smith who was awarded the Nobel peace prize for economics in 2002 received the prestigious honor for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics.

     Smith earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Cal-tech in 1949, his M.A. in economics at the University of Kansas in 1952, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1955 and has taught economics at a number of  universities, including Purdue, Stanford, Brown, the University of Massachusetts, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Arizona, George Mason University and Chapman University.

      Born in 1927 making Dr. Smith 91 years old he is still traveling and speaking where he can. Professor Smith’s lecture  titled “Learning from Proving Yourself Wrong: Two Cases from Experimental Economics, with Implications and Insights for the Economy” was an illuminating look into the mind of a master scholar, someone who through publication and service has earned the right to be heralded as one of the most vital influencers in the field of experimental economics.


     Smith has authored or co-authored more than 300 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. Which makes his speeches hot topics in the economics community.


     Through his lecture filled with visual aid he explained some economics theories with such understanding and clarity that if you weren’t focused you could have gotten lost in the elegant description of what is typically given through a monotonous delivery.


     When speaking about the possible factors that lead to the depression he shined a light on the real estate market and explained how the prices in lab markets for re-tradable assets tend to strongly bubble relative to the fundamental value.


     He explained how that correlation showed us how houses bought with mortgage credit could contribute to economic instability. His insight on the experiments that changed economic belief was discerning and through the hour filled with useful information and historical content I gained an appreciation for the subject

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Master scholar still speaking at 91 years old