Why are Economics Students More Selfish than the Rest?

26 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2009

See all articles by Yoram Bauman

Yoram Bauman

Whitman College

Elaina Rose

University of Washington - Department of Economics

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Abstract

A substantial body of research suggests that economists are less generous than other professionals and that economics students are less generous than other students. We address this question using administrative data on donations to social programs by students at the University of Washington. Our data set allows us to track student donations and economics training over time in order to distinguish selection effects from indoctrination effects. We find that economics majors are less likely to donate than other students and that there is an indoctrination effect for non-majors but not for majors. Women majors and non-majors are less likely to contribute than comparable men.

Keywords: altruism, public goods

JEL Classification: A13, D64

Suggested Citation

Bauman, Yoram and Rose, Elaina, Why are Economics Students More Selfish than the Rest?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4625. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1522693

Yoram Bauman (Contact Author)

Whitman College ( email )

345 Boyer Ave
Walla Walla, WA 99362
206-351-5719 (Phone)
509-527-5026 (Fax)

Elaina Rose

University of Washington - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 353330
Seattle, WA 98195-3330
United States
206-543-5237 (Phone)
206-685-7477 (Fax)

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