Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 1 > Issue 1–2

Fair and Impartial Spectators in Experimental Economic Behavior

Vernon L. Smith, Economic Science Institute, USA, Bart J. Wilson, Economic Science Institute, USA,
Suggested Citation
Vernon L. Smith and Bart J. Wilson (2014), "Fair and Impartial Spectators in Experimental Economic Behavior", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 1: No. 1–2, pp 1-26.

Published: 15 Jan 2014
© 2014 V. L. Smith and B. J. Wilson
Economic Theory
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In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Principles of Action in TMS
3. The Impartial Spectator
4. Traditional Game Theory and Experimental Economics
5. Ultimatum Games
6. Trust Games: Single Play
7. Trust Games: Repeat Play
8. Concluding Remarks


Our primary purpose in this article is to draw upon the literature of classical liberal economy to show how it informs and is informed by the results from experimental economics. Adam Smith's first great book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, serves as our chief source of insights for understanding and interpreting modern laboratory research in terms of the conventions that govern human conduct in personal exchange.~ At the same time, we wish to demonstrate how today's economic experiments elucidate a reading of Adam Smith.