123: Vernon Smith on Life During the Great Depression and World War II, Overcoming Adversity and Life as an Economist
Professor, George L. Argyros Endowed Chair in Finance and Economics, Professor of Economics and Law
Dr. Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in experimental economics.
He has joint appointments with the Argyros School of Business & Economics and the Fowler School of Law, and is part of a team that will create and run the new Economic Science Institute at Chapman.
He serves or has served on numerous board of editors including the American Economic Review, The Cato Journal, Journal of Economic
Behavior and Organization and the Journal of Economic Methodology.
Dr. Smith is a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, an Andersen Consulting Professor of the Year, and the 1995 Adam Smith Award recipient conferred by the Association for Private Enterprise Education.
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 University.
In this episode, you will find out:
- What life was like growing up in Wichita, Kansas during the Great Depression.
- How Professor Smith was schooled during his early formative years by an immigrant German teacher.
- The roles of his parents in influencing Vernon’s beliefs, morals and hard working ethics.
- Vernon’s role during World War II as an employee of Boeing.
- A story of overcoming adversity and being exposed to innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
- How electrification during the Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s ended the use of the Coleman Lamp for famers but how Coleman Lamps pivoted to deal with this structural shift.
- How Vernon found his way in studying economics and his influencers at that time.
- We find out about Vernon’s discovery of a competitive equilibrium in an oral outcry auction without participants requiring complete or even prior knowledge resulting in his award of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
- His invitation to unveil a statue of Adam Smith in Edinburgh
- Who he would like to meet if he could time travel
- Books he’d recommend and much more.
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