OC Register: "Nobelist gives teens Econ 101 lesson"


What was stranger? A Nobel laureate leaving his cushy campus confines to meet with teens in a Santa Ana barrio on a Saturday morning, or 30 teens taking him up on his offer to learn something about, uh ... economics?

There we were Saturday, on the renovated second floor of an old theater on the corner of Fourth and Birch, space leased by the Nicholas Academic Center, the tutoring program funded by Henry Nicholas. Our instructors: Vernon L. Smith of Chapman University, the 2002 Nobel winner in economics, and Bart Wilson, another campus economist.

They ran two experiments that showed how two famous but seemingly contradictory quotes by economist Adam Smith could be reconciled. The first: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." The second: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it."

nicholas academic centers, judge jack mandel, Vernon_L_Smith, Jeff_Tollaksen, chapman_universityEconomics Nobel Laureate Dr. Vernon L. Smith of Chapman University is joined by Chapman Prof. Jeff Tollaksen (l) and Judge Jack Mandel (r) during a break in Smith's lecture on Experimental Economics at the NAC I Annex on Jan. 29th.


Ashley TemmComment