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Ashraf, N., Camerer, C. F., Loewenstein, G. (2005). Adam Smith, Behavioral Economist. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(3): 131–145.

Adam Smith's psychological perspective in The Theory of Moral Sentiments is remarkably similar to "dual-process" frameworks advanced by psychologists, neuroscientists, and more recently by behavioral economists, based on behavioral data and detailed observations of brain functioning. It also anticipates a wide range of insights regarding phenomena such as loss aversion, willpower, and fairness that have been the focus of modern behavioral economics. This essay draws attention to some of these connections.

Authors

Asraf, Nava

Nava Ashraf is an Associate Professor in the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Ashraf received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 2005, and her BA in Economics and International Relations from Stanford University. Professor Ashraf...

Camerer, Colin F.

Professor Colin F. Camerer is the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology (located in Pasadena, California), where he teaches cognitive psychology and economics. Professor Camerer earned a BA degree in quantitative studies from Johns...

Loewenstein, George

I received my Ph.D. in economics, but my intellectual affinities lie at the border between economics and psychology. Much of my work brings psychological considerations to bear on models and problems that are central to economics. My primary research focus is on intertemporal choice--decisions...

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