Friday, September 13, 2013

Another class blog post that may interest readers of this blog

[We had our "modern Smithians" class today where they broke out into groups to discuss Krugman, Arrow, Smith, and Romer before coming back together for a class discussion.]

Paul Krugman, Kenneth Arrow, and Vernon Smith are all Nobel laureates. Paul Romer is not but it would not surprise me at all if he earned a Nobel at some point. Part of the reason for working with these economists today was that they are the top of the field and they provide the best that modern economics has to offer, so it's a good set of economic thinkers to try to relate back to older theory.

This post requires a little effort on your part, but as usual I'm interested in quality not quantity. Take a look at the list of Nobel laureates (here: and read a little about the research that the prize has been awarded for. Identify a laureate that worked with some of the same themes or ideas that interested Adam Smith. How are they similar, and how are they different?

This can be broad of course. For example, Smith was interested in the order that emerged in an unplanned market economy. We learned today that Kenneth Arrow and Vernon Smith were also interested in how this order occurred. Did any other laureates look into this problem and how did they approach it?

The 2013 prize will be awarded on Monday, October 14th. Take a look at who won and try to familiarize yourself with their theories. We will definitely discuss the winner(s) for part of the class on Tuesday the 15th.


  1. One could make the argument that Vernon Smith did deserve to become a Laureate, but not before Daniel Ellsberg. :-P

    I don't mean to marginalise him, but Vernon Smith's research does build on Daniel Ellsberg's contributions.

  2. Love the class posts. It sounds like you're making it into more than the traditional, here are 10 people, read them, kind of class. It is important to see economic thought as a dialogue. (McCloskey has a project on this now.) I putting these in my memory for years from now when I teach history of thought.


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