Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith - "Housing Bubble" Feb. 13

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2009) – Nobel prize winning economist Vernon Smith will discuss the recent turmoil in the U.S. economy and how it got this way at the University of South Florida College of Business Feb. 13, 10 a.m., in a lecture titled “The Housing Bubble That Engulfed the Economy.”  The Nobel Laureate will comment on recent excesses in housing and related financial markets including banks, mortgage and insurance companies, as well as the federal bailout.  He will suggest alternative (and possibly more effective) ways of getting the economy back on its feet, discussing systemic financial risks, housing subsidies, bankruptcy filings and capital gains taxes. 


Often referred to as the "father of experimental economics," Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his groundbreaking work in the field.  The author or co-author of more than 250 articles and books, the popular lecturer will spend two days in Tampa, speaking with students and faculty at this open lecture, as well as participating in several smaller, private gatherings with local business leaders.  His visit to the university is jointly sponsored by The Bank of Tampa, the USF College of Business and the USF Department of Economics.


“Dr. Smith is coming to talk about a problem of enormous proportions here in Florida: the housing bubble that occurred and its almost overwhelming ramifications on the U.S. and world economies,” said Bob Forsythe, dean of the USF College of Business in Tampa.   Explaining that a bubble occurs when prices reach unsustainably high levels, levels well in excess of the asset’s intrinsic value, Forsythe said housing and financial market troubles have seriously impacted the regional economy.   “The housing market is still reeling and we are fortunate that this internationally recognized expert will be joining us to share his views and findings on a topic that is so timely and relevant, especially in this market.” 


Now with Chapman University, Smith has joint appointments with the Argyros School of Business & Economics and the School of Law and is also part of the Economic Science Institute.  Smith 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.   The Cambridge University Press published Smith's Papers in Experimental Economics in 1991 and a second collection of more recent papers, Bargaining and Market Behavior, in 2000.  Cambridge published his Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms in 2008.  He serves or has served on the board of editors of numerous academic journals and in leadership roles for many professional associations.


Smith holds a degree in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology, a master's degree in economics from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.  He received an honorary degree from Purdue University and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

USF's College of Business and School of Accountancy are dually accredited by AACSB International. In addition to providing one of the nation's top accounting programs, the College of Business offers six master's degree programs, including a part-time and weekend Executive MBA program.