Two Concerns about Rational Choice: Indoctrination and Imperialism
AbstractRational Choice Theory is often criticized to indoctrinate students in a negative, which is supported by some laboratory experiments. But do students of Rational Choice Theory really behave more selfishly? This paper presents evidence from a natural decision on voluntary donation at the University of Zurich. The analysis of the very large panel data set reaches significant different results than previous studies: Rational Choice Theory does not indoctrinate students. However, there are good other reasons to criticize Rational Choice Theory. The paper argues that ideas from other social sciences should be imported to improve the theory. Three elements are presented which lead to new and different policy conclusions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 104.
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Rational Choice; Public Goods; Giving Behavior; Education; Behavioral Economics;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- 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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-02-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-HPE-2002-02-15 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2002-02-15 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2002-02-15 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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