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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.


This article was originally published in Review of Behavioral Economics, volume 1, issue 1-2, in 2014. DOI: 10.1561/105.00000001,

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