Political Economists are Neither Selfish nor Indoctrinated
Most professional economists believe that economist in general are more selfish than other persons and that this greater selfishness is due to economic education. In this paper we offer empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about giving behaviour to two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economic training does not make people act more selfish. However, the 'natural experiment' supports the hypothesis that the different behaviour of economist can be explained by a selection effect.
|Date of creation:|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich|
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
- Blais, Andre & Young, Robert, 1999. "Why Do People Vote? An Experiment in Rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 39-55, April.
- Gregory Brunk, 1980. "The impact of rational participation models on voting attitudes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 549-564, January.
- Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
- Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
- Richard Thaler, 1985.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 4(3), pages 199-214.
- Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
- Reiner Eichenberger & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 1998.
"Rational moralists: The role of fairness in democratic economic politics,"
Springer, vol. 94(1), pages 191-210, January.
- Eichenberger, Reiner & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1998. "Rational Moralists: The Role of Fairness in Democratic Economic Politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(1-2), pages 191-210, January.
- Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
- Richard Biel & David Laband, 1999.
"Are economists more selfish than other `social' scientists?,"
Artefactual Field Experiments
00076, The Field Experiments Website.
- Laband, David N & Beil, Richard O, 1999. "Are Economists More Selfish Than Other 'Social' Scientists?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(1-2), pages 85-101, July.
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas D. Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1996. "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 187-192, Winter.
- Andreoni, James, 2006.
Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism,
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
- Bram Cadsby, C. & Maynes, Elizabeth, 1998. "Gender and free riding in a threshold public goods game: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 603-620, March.
- Stephanie Seguino & Thomas Stevens & Mark Lutz, 1996. "Gender and cooperative behavior: economic man rides alone," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:069. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.