Salisbury Labs 310B
+1 (508) 8315000 x6543
Affiliated Department or Office
BA Economics York University 2003
MA Economics University of Toronto 2004
PhD Economics University of Calgary 2010

Alexander Smith’s research focuses on altruism, trust, cooperation and honesty. In particular, he is interested in learning how behavior relates to beliefs about the actions of others and how psychology can be used for promoting pro-social behavior. These areas of research provide a better understanding of the factors underlying real-world pro-social behaviors such as volunteering and charitable giving. In essence, they provide insight into how to make the world a better place.

Smith is passionate about economics and enjoys teaching because it allows him to share his passion with others. He enjoys teaching at WPI because the students are not only hardworking, determined, and capable, but they are also curious about how the world works and are often interested in learning how they can make positive contributions to society. Smith enjoys interacting with students because he appreciates the different points of view and is amazed by how much can be learned by conversing with others about their interpretation of important issues.

Scholarly Work

Estimating the Causal Effect of Beliefs on Contribution in Repeated Public Good Games 2013

Smith, Alexander (2012). "The Changing Effects of Community Characteristics on Volunteering in Canada." Canadian Public Policy, forthcoming.

Smith, Alexander (2012). "Comment on Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments." Economics Bulletin, 32(1), 923-931.

Smith, Alexander (2011). "Identifying In-Group and Out-Group Effects in the Trust Game." The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 11(1)-Topics, Article 38.

Smith, Alexander (2011). "Income Inequality in the Trust Game." Economics Letters, 111(1), 54-56.

Professional Highlights & Honors
Queen Elizabeth 2 Graduate Scholarship, 2008

Queen Elizabeth 2 Graduate Scholarship, 2009

Expert opinions on low-interest credit cards

Alexander Smith, assistant professor of economics, provided analysis for an article in WalletHub about what consumers should know about credit card interest rates.