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The impact of studying economics, and other disciplines, on the belief that voluntary exchange makes everyone better off

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  • Amélie Goossens
  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon

Abstract

Using a survey of a large group of first and final-year students of different disciplines, to study their belief in the existence of mutual benefits of voluntary transactions, we observe significant differences between economics and business students on the one hand, and students of other disciplines on the other hand. Those differences increase over time, due to economics students increasingly supporting that belief, and other students increasingly disagreeing with it. Beliefs of students specializing in the same topic also become more homogeneous over time. We therefore report evidence of both a selection and a learning effect of studying different disciplines.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/54005/1/RePEc_sol_wpaper_10-012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 10-012.RS.

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Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:10-012

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Keywords: Higher education; learning; self-selection; beliefs; fairness of the market.;

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  1. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
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  6. Haucap, Justus, 2003. "Not guilty? Another look at the nature and nurture of economics students," Research Notes 10, Deutsche Bank Research.
  7. Anthony M. Yezer & Robert S. Goldfarb & Paul J. Poppen, 1996. "Does Studying Economics Discourage Cooperation? Watch What We Do, Not What We Say or How We Play," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
  8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  9. John R. Carter & Michael D. Irons, 1991. "Are Economists Different, and If So, Why?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 171-177, Spring.
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  11. Haferkamp, Alexandra & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Belschak, Frank & Enste, Dominik, 2009. "Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 527-539, August.
  12. Frey, Bruno S, 1986. "Economists Favour the Price System--Who Else Does?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 537-63.
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Cited by:
  1. Bernd Hayo & Ummad Mazhar, 2011. "Monetary Policy Committee Transparency: Measurement,Determinants, and Economic Effects," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201140, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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