Two Concerns about Rational Choice: Indoctrination and Imperialism
Rational Choice Theory is often criticized to indoctrinate students in a negative, which is supported by some laboratory experiments. But do students of Rational Choice Theory really behave more selfishly? This paper presents evidence from a natural decision on voluntary donation at the University of Zurich. The analysis of the very large panel data set reaches significant different results than previous studies: Rational Choice Theory does not indoctrinate students. However, there are good other reasons to criticize Rational Choice Theory. The paper argues that ideas from other social sciences should be imported to improve the theory. Three elements are presented which lead to new and different policy conclusions.
|Date of creation:|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 133-141, Winter.
- Jones, Philip & Hudson, John, 2000. "Civic Duty and Expressive Voting: Is Virtue Its Own Reward?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 3-16.
- Gregory Brunk, 1980. "The impact of rational participation models on voting attitudes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 549-564, January.
- Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997.
"Doing It Now or Later,"
Economics Working Papers
97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272, March.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct Democracy: Politico-economic Lessons from Swiss Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 338-42, May.
- Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985.
"Public goods provision in an experimental environment,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
- Isaac, R. Mark & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., . "Public Goods Provision in an Experimental Environment," Working Papers 428, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
- Laibson, David, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
- Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct-Democratic Rules: The Role of Discussion," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 341-54.
- 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.
- Tullock, Gordon, 1999. "Non-prisoner's dilemma," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 455-458, July.
- Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Laband & Richard Biel, 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.
- Blais, Andre & Young, Robert, 1999. " Why Do People Vote? An Experiment in Rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 39-55, April.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
- Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, .
"Political Economists are Neither Selfish nor Indoctrinated,"
IEW - Working Papers
069, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2001. "Political Economists are Neither Selfish Nor Indoctrinated," CESifo Working Paper Series 490, CESifo Group Munich.
- repec:cup:cbooks:9780521586399 is not listed on IDEAS
- Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
- repec:att:wimass:9610 is not listed on IDEAS
- Bruno S. Frey, 2001. "Inspiring Economics," Books, Edward Elgar, number 1895, 6.
- James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
- Stigler, George J, 1984. " Economics-The Imperial Science?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 301-13.
- 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.
- Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2000. "Direct democracy, political culture, and the outcome of economic policy: a report on the Swiss experience," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 287-306, June.
- Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
- Edward P. Lazear, 1999.
NBER Working Papers
7300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frey, Bruno S & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1991. " Anomalies in Political Economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 68(1-3), pages 71-89, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:104. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.