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How and when can economic skills enhance cooperation?

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  • Evelyn Korn

    () (University of Marburg)

  • Stephan Meisenzahl

    (University of Marburg)

  • Johannes Ziesecke

    () (University of Marburg)

Abstract

Conventional wisdom has it that economic training and education tends to produce less cooperative people – where cooperation means following group-oriented goals. This issue has attracted particular attention in discussions of the current economic crisis where it was asked if increasing marketization of societies has created an environment encouraging amoral selfish behavior of financial intermediaries and other economic agents. We provide some evidence against this claim with the help of an experiment, using an investment game with a public-goods character. Modest guidance of strategic abilities increases the degree of cooperation if the institutional setting permits reputation building. We thus conclude that economic practice can enhance cooperation in a socially stable environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Evelyn Korn & Stephan Meisenzahl & Johannes Ziesecke, 2013. "How and when can economic skills enhance cooperation?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201316, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201316
    as

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    File URL: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/16-2013_korn.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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