The principal findings of experimental economics are that impersonal exchange in markets converges in repeated interaction to the equilibrium states implied by economic theory, under information conditions far weaker than specified in the theory. In personal, social, and economic exchange, as studied in two-person games, cooperation exceeds the prediction of traditional game theory. This book relates these two findings to field studies and applications and integrates them with the main themes of the Scottish Enlightenment and with the thoughts of F. A. Hayek: through emergent socio-economic institutions and cultural norms, people achieve ends that are unintended and poorly understood. In cultural changes, the role of constructivism, or reason, is to provide variation, and the role of ecological processes is to select the norms and institutions that serve the fitness needs of societies.
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(228mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Vernon L. Smith
Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 2002 for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms. He holds joint appointments with the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the School of Law at Chapman University, California, where he also is part of the team that will create and run the Economic Science Institute there. Cambridge University Press published his Papers in Experimental Economics in 1991 and a second collection, Bargaining and Market Behavior, in 2000.