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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Amélie Goossens & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2010. "The impact of studying economics, and other disciplines, on the belief that voluntary exchange makes everyone better off," Working Papers CEB 10-012.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:10-012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamza Bennani, 2015. "Dissecting the brains of central bankers: The case of the ECB’s Governing Council members on reforms," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 141, pages 97-114.
    2. Bernd Hayo & Ummad Mazhar, 2014. "Monetary Policy Committee Transparency: Measurement, Determinants, and Economic Effects," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 739-770, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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