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Vernon Smith

Eminent Panel Member

Smith, born in 1927, is currently Professor of Economics and Law at the Chapman University, where he leads a team that will create and run the new Economic Science Institute at Chapman, and also a Fellow of the Mercatus Center all in Arlington, VA. He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cal Tech, and his PhD in Economics from Harvard. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics.

He serves or has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Review, The Cato Journal, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Science, Economic Theory, Economic Design, Games and Economic Behavior, and the Journal of Economic Methodology. He is past president of the Public Choice Society, the Economic Science Association, the Western Economic Association and the Association for Private Enterprise Education. Previous faculty appointments include the University of Arizona, Purdue, Brown University and the University of Massachusetts. He has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.
In 2002, Smith shared the Nobel Memorial Price in Economics with Professor Daniel Kahneman. Smith was given this award "for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms." (The Nobel e-Museum)
Smith has laid the foundation for the field of experimental economics. He has developed an array of experimental methods, setting standards for what constitutes a reliable laboratory experiment in economics. His work has been instrumental in establishing experiments as an essential tool in empirical economic analysis.  

Participated in these projects

Copenhagen Consensus

The Copenhagen Consensus was our first project. The basic idea was to improve prioritization of the numerous problems the world faces, by gathering some of the world's greatest economists to a meeting where some of the biggest challenges in the world would be assessed.

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Copenhagen Consensus III

In 2004 and 2008, the Copenhagen Consensus Center held two major projects that helped to shape overseas development spending and philanthropic decisions for years to come. The third Copenhagen Consensus was the latest iteration of our ongoing work to prioritize the best solutions.

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Rethink HIV

The Rethink HIV project is a joint venture between the Rush Foundation and the Copenhagen Consensus Center. Rush asked the Copenhagen Consensus Center to commission a group of leading health academics to analyze policy choices and to identify the most effective ways to tackle the pandemic across sub-Saharan Africa. RethinkHIV identifies effective interventions in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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Guide to Giving

Even the wealthiest government, business, or individual has limited resources. A dollar spent in one place cannot be spent elsewhere. We are often asked by individuals: how can I make personal donations in line with Copenhagen Consensus findings? This Guide provides an answer.

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Copenhagen Consensus on Climate

Global warming is real; it is caused by man-made CO2 emissions, and we need to do something about it. But we don't need action that makes us feel good. We need action that actually does good.

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Copenhagen Consensus II

The second Copenhagen Consensus took place 25-30 May in Copenhagen. Once again, our Expert Panel tackled the question, Imagine you had $75 billion to donate to worthwhile causes. What would you do, and where should we start? The Panel released a prioritized list recommending how best to tackle ten of the world's most pressing issues.

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