Free Enterprise Speaker Series event to focus on commerce, morality

Kyle Hampton of the University of Alaska-Anchorage will examine the intersection of commerce and morality as part of Western Carolina University’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series on Monday, Oct. 26.

Kyle Hampton

Kyle Hampton

The associate professor of economics will present “Morality, Evolution and Experimental Economics” from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in Room 101, Forsyth Building. The event is free and open to the public.

Part of the discussion will explore the moral foundations of economics and the economic foundations of morality, in effort to broaden understanding of each. There will be an introduction to the field of experimental economics, with an opportunity for audience participation.

“We are very excited to host Kyle Hampton,” said Zac Gochenour, WCU assistant professor of economics. “He is an acclaimed instructor of economics and studied under Nobel-winning economist Vernon Smith. He also has a background in philosophy, which will feature prominently in his talk. He uses experimental methods to do research and teaching in economics, and I think it will be very valuable for everyone to hear about these methods and see them in action.”

In 2013, Hampton was named one of Alaska Journal’s “Top 40 Younger than 40” emerging leaders in Alaska, while the University of Alaska-Anchorage recognized him that year as its College of Business and Public Policy Teacher of the Year. He received his doctorate in economics from George Mason University and has bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and economics from the University of South Carolina.

“This presentation will raise a lot of questions that are often taken for granted,” said Edward J. Lopez, BB&T Distinguished Professor of Capitalism and professor of economics with WCU’s College of Business. “I think it could challenge peoples’ perceptions of what economics is, and how everyday economies perform.”

The presentation is sponsored by the WCU Free Enterprise Club and the BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Programs. For more information on this or other series events, contact Lopez at 828-227-3383 or