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Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?


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  • Robert H. Frank
  • Thomas D. Gilovich
  • Dennis T. Regan


Although field experiments and classroom surveys are ambiguous about whether economists are less likely than others to cooperate in social dilemmas, three important points remain clear: economics training encourages the view that people are motivated primarily by self-interest; there is clear evidence that this view leads people to expect others to defect in social dilemmas; and there is also evidence that, when people expect partners to defect, they are overwhelmingly likely to defect themselves. These points' logical implications appear to place a heavy burden of proof on those who insist economics training does not inhibit cooperation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 10 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 187-192

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:10:y:1996:i:1:p:187-92

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.1.187
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  1. Is Economics the Problem?
    by James Kwak in the baseline scenario on 2011-02-18 13:00:25
  2. 660. Psychology of money
    by admin in Reflections on Gardenworld Politics on 2011-02-19 03:19:56
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