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Estudios de economía y cooperación social. Un estudio experimental con estudiantes universitarios en Chile


  • Núñez, Javier

    (Universidad de Chile)

  • Miranda, Leslie

    (Universidad de Chile)

  • Scavia, Javier

    (Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María)


This paper reports new experimental evidence on the effect of economics training on two different dimensions of social cooperation: trust and reciprocity, which are measured by means of the Trust Game. We employ sampling and matching procedures joined with recruiting by selective invitation in order to separate the effect of studying economics from the potential effect of self selection of preferences by those who choose economics as their career. Our sample is formed by university students of economics and other disciplines with littler or no economic content in Chile. We find that the amounts sent by economists in the first stage of the Trust Game were significantly smaller that those sent by their peers from other disciplines, suggesting that economist trusted others significantly less than their counterparts. We also find that economists are less likely to return the promised amounts, which indicates a reduced tendency to reciprocate the trust shown by others.// Este artículo aporta nuevas pruebas experimentales del efecto de estudiar economía en dos dimensiones de la cooperación social: la confianza y la reciprocidad. Estas dimensiones son aproximadas por medio del conocido juego de confianza. Empleando técnicas de muestreo e igualación (matching), y un reclutamiento de sujetos por invitación selectiva en vez de convocatoria abierta, el trabajo permite separar el efecto asociado al estudio de la economía del efecto asociado al potencial sesgo de selección en las preferencias de quienes escogen estudiar economía. La muestra está compuesta por estudiantes universitarios de economía y de otras carreras con escaso o nulo contenido de economía en Chile. Los resultados muestran que los montos enviados por los estudiantes de economía en la primera etapa del juego de confianza son significativamente menores en comparación con los estudiantes de otras carreras, lo que indica una menor propensión de los primeros a confiar en los demás. A su vez, encontramos una menor inclinación de los economistas a devolver los montos prometidos, lo que muestra una menor tendencia a la reciprocidad de la confianza depositada en ellos en el juego de confianza.

Suggested Citation

  • Núñez, Javier & Miranda, Leslie & Scavia, Javier, 2009. "Estudios de economía y cooperación social. Un estudio experimental con estudiantes universitarios en Chile," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(303), pages 695-720, julio-sep.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:76:y:2009:i:303:p:695-720

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    More about this item


    cooperación social; autoselección; formación profesional; confianza; reciprocidad; juego de confianza;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games


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