Professor and Chair
Department of Economics

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Phone: 901-678-3675
Fax: 901-678-2685

Office Location: BA 400A
Office Hours: TR 4:15-5:15 or by appointment


Professor William Smith, received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1987, his M.A. in 1980, from the University of Miami, and his BA from the American College in Paris, in 1979. Dr. Smith conducts research exploring the interplay between financial theory, growth theory, and macroeconomics. He received the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006, the Palmer Award for Research in 2003, and the Alumni Award for Distinguished Research in the Social Sciences & Business in 2008.


Publications in Refereed Journals:

"Time Diversification: Definitions and Some Closed-form Solutions," with Kee H. Chung and Tao Wu, forthcoming in Journal of Banking & Finance.

"The Spirit of Capitalism, Precautionary Savings, and Consumption," with Yulei Luo and Heng-fu Zou, forthcoming in Journal of Money, Credit, & Banking.

"Hyperbolic Discounting and Asset Pricing," with Heng-fu Zou and Liutang Gong, forthcoming in Annals of Economics & Finance.

“Inspecting the Mechanism Exactly: A Closed-Form Solution to the Stochastic Growth Model,” August 2007, BE Contributions to Macroeconomics

“Consumption and Risk with Hyperbolic Discounting,” with Heng-Fu Zou and Liutang Gong, Economics Letters (2007).

“Asset Pricing with Multiplicative Habits and Power-expo Preferences,” with Richard Zhang, Economics Letters (2007).

“Why Do Pooled Forecasts Do Better Than Individual Forecasts? An Alternative Explanation,” with Diego Nocetti, Economics Bulletin, Vol 4, No. 36 (2006). You can find this was posted on October 25, 2006 at http://economicsbulletin.vanderbilt.edu.

“Equilibrium Consumption and Precautionary Savings in a Stochastically Growing Economy,” with Steve Turnovsky, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 30 (2006): 243-278.

“A Closed Form Solution to the Ramsey Model,” BE Contributions to Macroeconomics (January 2006)http://www.bepress.com/bejm/contributions/vol16/iss1/art3/

“Fertility, Volatility, and Growth,” with Aude Pommeret, Economics Letters 87 (2005), 347-353.

“Currency Devaluation and Contractionary Policy in a Currency Crisis: A Supply-Side Approach,” with Chong Soo Pyun and Young Seob Son, Global Business & Finance Review 10 (2005): 17-25.

“Can the Desire to Conserve Our Natural Resources Be Self-defeating?” with Young Seob Son, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 49 (2005): 52-67.

“But Can She Cook? Women’s Education and Housework Productivity,” with David Sharp, Julia Heath, and David Knowlton, Economics of Education Review 23 (2004): 605-614.

“Consumption and Saving With Habit Formation and Durability,” Economics Letters 75 (2002): 369-375.

“Marshallian Recursive Preferences and Growth,” with Michael Gootzeit and Johannes Schneider, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 49 (2002): 381-404.

“Shipping the Good Times Out: A Note on Apples and Donations of Time and Money,” Economics Bulletin Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 1-14 (2002). You can find this was posted on January 22, 2002 at http://economicsbulletin.vanderbilt.edu.

“How Does the Spirit of Capitalism Affect Stock-Market Prices?” Review of Financial Studies 14 (2001): 1215-1232.

“The Calculus of Fear: Revolution, Repression, and the Rational Peasant,” with Julia Heath, David Mason, and Joseph Weingarten, Social Sciences Quarterly 81 (1999).

“Risk, the Spirit of Capitalism and Growth: the Implications of a Preference for Capital,” Journal of Macroeconomics 21 (1999), pp. 241-262.

“Birth, Death and Consumption: Overlapping Generations and the Random Walk Hypothesis,” International Economic Journal 23 (1998), pp. 105-116.

“The Treatment of Medical Indebtedness in Personal Bankruptcy,” with Dennis Wilson, John Rogers, and Cyril Chang, The Journal of Economics 23 (1997).

“Feasibility and Transversality Conditions for Models of Portfolio Choice with Non-Expected Utility in Continuous Time,” Economics Letters 53 (1996), pp. 123-131.

“Taxes, Uncertainty, and Long-Term Growth,” European Economic Review 40 (1996), pp. 1647-1664.

“It Pays to Be Different: Endogenous Heterogeneity of Firms in an Oligopoly,” with David Mills, International Journal of Industrial Organization 14 (1996), pp. 317-329.

“Investment, Uncertainty, and Price Stabilization Schemes,” Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 18 (1994), pp. 561-579.

“Price Discrimination with Correlated Demands,” with Catherine Eckel, Southern Economic Journal 59 (1992), pp. 58-65.

“Forward Exchange Rates in General Equilibrium,” Journal of International Money & Finance 10 (1991), pp. 497-511.

“Precautionary Savings and Labor Supply with Non-Expected Utility Preferences,” with Diego Nocetti (2010), forthcoming, Journal of Money, Credit & Banking.

“Price Uncertainty, Saving, and Welfare,” with Diego Nocetti (2010), forthcoming, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

“Uncertainty, the Demand for Health Care, and Precautionary Saving,” with Diego Nocetti, forthcoming, BE Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy vol. 10, issue 1 (2010).

“Time Diversification: Definitions and Some Closed-form Solutions,” with Kee Chung and Tao Wu, Journal of Banking & Finance 33 (2009): 1101-1111.

Working Papers:

“Does Public Consumption Increase Economic Growth?” with Young Seob Son (2011), submitted to the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

“A New Look at the Determinants of the Ecological Discount Rate: Disentangling Social Preferences,” with Luciana Echazu and Diego Nocetti, (2011), revised and resubmitted to the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

“The Effects of Wage Volatility on Growth,” with Michael Jetter and Olexander Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy (2011), submitted to BE Macroeconomics.



PhD/MA Advanced Macro I

Advanced Macro II

International Monetary Theory & Policy

Economics of Risk and Uncertainty


MBA Managerial Econ

International Trade & Invesment



Principles of Macro

Public Econ

Managerial Econ

Intermediate Micro

Intermediate Macro

International Macro


University Service:

Interim Chair, Economics Department

PhD Coordinator, Economics Department

Member, Graduate Committee, Economics Department

Member, Graduate Council, Fogelman College

Chair, Academic Freedom and Resposibility Appeal Committee, University of Memphis

Referee for:

Atlantic Economic Review
BE Journals of Macroeconomics
Economics of Planning
Energy & Resource Economics
European Economic Review
International Economic Review
International Tax & Public Finance
Journal of Development Economics
Journal of Economics
Journal of Economics (Zeitschrift fur Nationalekonomie)
Journal of International Economics
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Journal of Economic Dynamics & Control
Journal of Environmental Economics & Management
Journal of Industrial Organization
Journal of Mathematical Social Sciences
Journal of Macroeconomics
Journal of Monetary Economics
Journal of Public Economic Theory
Macroeconomic Dynamics
Manchester School
National Science Foundation
Review of International Economics