Selfish and Indoctrinated Economists?
Bruno S. Frey
CREMA; Behavioural Science; Economics
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Columbia Business School - Management
Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 103
Many people believe that economists in general are more selfish than other people and that this greater selfishness is due to economics education. This paper offers empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set on giving behaviour in connection with two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economics education does not make people act more selfishly. Rather, this natural experiment suggests that the particular behaviour of economists can be explained by a selection effect.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 15
Keywords: Economists, Public Good, Giving Behaviour, Education, Selection
JEL Classification: A13, A20, H41working papers series
Date posted: February 5, 2003
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