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Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?

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

Abstract

In this paper we investigate whether exposure to the self-interest model commonly used in economics alters the extent to which people behave in self-interested ways. First, we report the results of several empirical studies—some our own, some by others—that suggest economists behave in more self-interested ways. By itself, this evidence does not demonstrate that exposure to the self-interest model causes more self-interested behavior, since it may be that economists were simply more self-interested to begin with, and this difference was one reason they chose to study economics. Second, we present preliminary evidence that exposure to the self-interest model does in fact encourage self-interested behavior.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.7.2.159
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 7 (1993)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 159-171

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:7:y:1993:i:2:p:159-71

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.2.159
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  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
  3. In defence of economists
    by Matt Nolan in The Invisible Hand in Economics on 2013-11-13 21:53:19
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