Political Economists are Neither Selfish Nor Indoctrinated
AbstractMost professional economists believe that economists in general are more selfish than other persons and that this greater selfishness is due to economics education. This paper offers empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about giving behavior in connection with two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economics education does not make people act more selfishly. Rather, this natural experiment suggests that the particular behavior of economists can be explained by a selection effect.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 490.
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
economists; public good; giving behavior; education; selection;
Other versions of this item:
- Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Political Economists are Neither Selfish nor Indoctrinated," IEW - Working Papers 069, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
- H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stanley, T. D. & Tran, Ume, 1998. "Economics students need not be greedy: Fairness and the ultimatum game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 657-663.
- Blais, Andre & Young, Robert, 1999. " Why Do People Vote? An Experiment in Rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 39-55, April.
- Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
- Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
- Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
- Reiner Eichenberger & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 1998.
"Rational moralists: The role of fairness in democratic economic politics,"
Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 191-210, January.
- Eichenberger, Reiner & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1998. " Rational Moralists: The Role of Fairness in Democratic Economic Politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 191-210, January.
- Bram Cadsby, C. & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Gender and free riding in a threshold public goods game: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 603-620, March.
- Richard H. Thaler, 2008.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
- David Laband & Richard Biel, 1999.
"Are economists more selfish than other `social' scientists?,"
Artefactual Field Experiments
00076, The Field Experiments Website.
- Laband, David N & Beil, Richard O, 1999. " Are Economists More Selfish Than Other 'Social' Scientists?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 85-101, July.
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas D. Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1996. "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 187-192, Winter.
- Andreoni,J., 2004.
7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Andreoni, James, 2006. "Philanthropy," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
- Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
- Gregory Brunk, 1980. "The impact of rational participation models on voting attitudes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 549-564, January.
- Stephanie Seguino & Thomas Stevens & Mark Lutz, 1996. "Gender and cooperative behavior: economic man rides alone," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21.
- Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
- Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, .
"On the Efficiency of Monetary Exchange:How Divisibility of Money Matters,"
IEW - Working Papers
101, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Berentsen, Aleksander & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2002. "On the efficiency of monetary exchange: how divisibility of money matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1621-1649, November.
- Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "Two Concerns about Rational Choice: Indoctrination and Imperialism," IEW - Working Papers 104, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2003.
"Money and the Gains from Trade,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 263-297, February.
- Reto Föllmi & Urs Meister, .
"Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntarily Nondiscriminatory Pricing,"
IEW - Working Papers
115, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Reto Foellmi & Urs Meister, 2004. "Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntary Nondiscriminatory Pricing," Working Papers 0032, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
- Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
- Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2004.
"Money and Information,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 915-944.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.