Nobel laureate Vernon L. Smith, Ph.D. and Bart J. Wilson, Ph.D., both Professors of Economics at the Argyros School of Business and Economics, have published a new book with Cambridge University Press entitled, Humanomics: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century. The main thesis–inspired by a close reading of the founder of modern economics, Adam Smith–transforms the traditional economic model of people as self-centered actors into a deeper study of human beings as moral beings, both in their personal lives with friends and family and in their professional lives of business and economics. Dr. Wilson describes the book as a parallel project to the Humanomics minor offered at Chapman University.
Adam Smith’s works have been part of both author’s classroom curriculum since Fall 2004, before either began teaching at Chapman University. The courses evolved with time and with the level of student they were teaching, which include students in the Dale E. Fowler School of Law and undergraduates and high school students in the Summer Scholars program.
As both scholars taught the books of Adam Smith through their academic careers, they found it necessary they “learn to unlearn” their economics training to gain an understanding of Adam Smith’s work and the continual relevance it holds in today’s world. Their book integrates understanding from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations with contemporary empirical analysis that intends to transform “economic betterment as a science of human beings.”
Congratulations to Dr. Smith and Dr. Wilson on this remarkable achievement!