Jonathan Wight

Professor of Economics
Professor of International Economics, International Studies Concentration Advisor: International Economics

Selected Publications


Ethics in Economics: An Introduction to Moral Frameworks (Stanford University Press, 2015).

Teaching the Ethical Foundations of Economics (New York: The National Council on Economic Education, 2007), with John S. Morton.

Editor, Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (Hampshire, UK: Harriman House edition, 2007).

Saving Adam Smith: A Tale of Wealth, Transformation, and Virtue (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2002).

The Medical Offset Effect and Public Health Policy (New York: Praeger, 1989), with John L. Fiedler.


“The Ethics behind Efficiency,” The Journal of Economic Education 28(1)(Winter 2017): 15-26.

“The Ethical Economist: Duty and Virtue in the Scientific Process,” in The Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, George DeMartino and Deirdre McCloskey, eds. (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

“Economics within a Pluralist Ethical Tradition,” Review of Social Economy 72(4)(December 2014): 417-435. 

“Instincts and the Invisible Order: The Possibility of Progress,” in Propriety and Prosperity: New Studies on the Philosophy of Adam Smith, edited by David Hardwick and Leslie Marsh (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

“Sentiments and Motivations in Adam Smith and Vernon Smith,” Forum for Social Economics 42(4)(2013): 298–301.

“Ethics and Critical Thinking,” The International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, in Gail Hoyt and KimMarie McGoldrick, eds. (Aldershot: Edward Elgar Press, 2012): 197-204. 

“Preface: Emotions, Natural Selection, and Rationality,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 77(1)(2011):1-3 (with Elias L. Khalil).

“Institutional Divergence in Economic Development,” The Adam Smith Review, Vol. 6 (2011): 309-326.

“Public Policy, Human Instincts, and Economic Growth,” The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy 15(3)(2011): 351-365.

“Ethics in the Mayan Marketplace,” in Mark D. White, ed., Accepting the Invisible Hand: Market-Based Approaches to Social-Economic Problems (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), with Benjamin Blevins and Guadalupe Ramirez, pp. 87-110.

“Adam Smith on Instincts, Ethics, and Informal Learning: Proximate Mechanisms in Multilevel Selection,” Review of Social Economy 67(1)(2009): 95-113.  Reprinted in Mark D. White and Irene van Staveren, eds., Ethics and Economics: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2009): pp. 166-184.

“Moral Reasoning in Economics,” in David C. Colander and KimMarie McGoldrick, eds., Educating Economists: The Teagle Discussion on Re-evaluating the Undergraduate Economics Major (Edward Elgar, 2009): 53-58.

“Teaching Economics,” Handbook of Economics and Ethics (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2009): 539-546.

“Sociability and the Market,” Forum for Social Economics 39(2/3)(2009): 97-110.


B.A., Duke University 1976
Economics and Public Policy Studies

M.A., Vanderbilt University 1980

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University 1982

Contact Information

140C RSB
(804) 289-8570
(804) 289-8878 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise

Ethics of capitalism
Economics of globalization
Adam Smith