Was He, or Was He Not? And Why Would It Matter? On Adam Smith Possibly Having Been Afflicted by Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome)

25 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021 Last revised: 18 Jan 2022

See all articles by Andreas Ortmann

Andreas Ortmann

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

Date Written: December 22, 2021

Abstract

I investigate the conjecture (proposed by his namesake Vernon L. Smith) that Adam Smith was afflicted by Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism. I summarize the evidence confirming this conjecture. Concluding that on balance there is considerable evidence supporting Smith’s Conjecture, I then ponder why it might have mattered had he not been afflicted.

Note:
Funding Statement: No funding.

Declaration of Interests: No competing interests.

Keywords: Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Adam Smith, Vernon L. Smith, Smith’s Conjecture

JEL Classification: B12, B20, B31, C90

Suggested Citation

Ortmann, Andreas, Was He, or Was He Not? And Why Would It Matter? On Adam Smith Possibly Having Been Afflicted by Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome) (December 22, 2021). UNSW Business School Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3753764 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3753764

Andreas Ortmann (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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