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Not guilty? Another look at the nature and nurture of economics students


  • Haucap, Justus
  • Just, Tobias


Economists praise the efficiency of the price mechanism in allocating scarce resources. Others, however, often reject it as unfair. In this study, we investigate the extent to which economists also differ from non-economists in how they value the fairness of the price system, and examine how deeply such differences are rooted in their course of studies. The result: studying economics does in fact influence how they arrive at value judgements, though students' attitudes do not stem solely from this factor - their views already differ from those of non-economics students right at the beginning of their studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Haucap, Justus & Just, Tobias, 2003. "Not guilty? Another look at the nature and nurture of economics students," Research Notes 10, Deutsche Bank Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dbrrns:10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    2. Paul R Masson, 1998. "Contagion; Monsoonal Effects, Spillovers, and Jumps Between Multiple Equilibria," IMF Working Papers 98/142, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Kaminsky, Graciela L. & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2000. "On crises, contagion, and confusion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 145-168, June.
    4. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
    5. Barry Eichengreen & Andrew K. Rose & Charles Wyplosz, 1994. "Speculative Attacks on Pegged Exchange Rates: An Empirical Exploration with Special Reference to the European Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 4898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Eduardo Borensztein & R. Gaston Gelos, 2003. "A Panic-Prone Pack? The Behavior of Emerging Market Mutual Funds," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 1-3.
    7. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
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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. Haucap, Justus & Heimeshoff, Ulrich, 2014. "The happiness of economists: Estimating the causal effect of studying economics on subjective well-being," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 85-97.
    3. Ruske René & Suttner Johannes, 2012. "Wie (un-)fair sind Ökonomen? – Neue empirische Evidenz zur Marktbewertung und Rationalität / How (un-)fair are economists? New empirical evidence on market valuation and rationality," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 63(1), pages 179-194, January.
    4. İbrahim Erdem SEÇİLMİŞ, 2014. "Seniority: A Blessing or A Curse? The Effect of Economics Training on the Perception of Distributive Justice," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 22(22).
    5. Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2005. "(Why) are economists different?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 543-562, September.
    6. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & David Leiser & Rinat Benita, 2010. "Human Foibles or Systemic Failure -- Lay Perceptions of the 2008-09 Financial Crisis," Post-Print ijn_00445611, HAL.
    7. 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.
    8. João Carlos Graça & João Carlos Lopes & Rita Gomes Correia, 2014. "Economics education: literacy or mind framing? Evidence from a survey on the social building of trust in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2014/20, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    9. Bauman, Yoram & Rose, Elaina, 2011. "Selection or indoctrination: Why do economics students donate less than the rest?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 318-327, August.
    10. Cipriani, Giam Pietro & Lubian, Diego & Zago, Angelo, 2009. "Natural born economists?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 455-468, June.
    11. Suttner, Johannes R., 2014. "Sensitivity of economists during market allocation," CIW Discussion Papers 3/2014, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    12. Potrafke, Niklas & Fischer, Mira & Ursprung, Heinrich, 2013. "Does the Field of Study Influence Students' Political Attitudes?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79934, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Haucap, Justus & Müller, Andrea, 2014. "Why are economists so different? Nature, nurture, and gender effects in a simple trust game," DICE Discussion Papers 136, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    14. Mira Fischer & Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2016. "Support for free-market policies and reforms: Does the field of study influence students’ political attitudes?," ifo Working Paper Series 218, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    15. Ruske, René & Suttner, Johannes, 2012. "Wie (un-)fair sind Ökonomen? Neue empirische Evidenz zur Marktbewertung und Rationalität," CIW Discussion Papers 03/2012, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).

    More about this item


    Economists; fairness; learning; selection; attitudes;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • 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
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


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