Why are Economists so Different? Nature, Nurture and Gender Effects in a Simple Trust Game

27 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014

See all articles by Justus Haucap

Justus Haucap

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Andrea Müller

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE)

Date Written: March 1, 2014

Abstract

We analyze the behavior of 577 economics and law students in a simple binary trust experiment. While economists are both significantly less trusting and less trustworthy than law students, this difference is largely due to differences between female law and economics students. While female law students are already different in nature (during the first term of study) from female economists, the gap between them also widens more drastically over the course of their study compared to their male counterparts. This finding is rather critical as the detailed composition of students is typically neglected in most experiments.

Keywords: Gender Effects, Trust Game, Economists, Nature, Nurture

JEL Classification: A12, A22, C35, C91

Suggested Citation

Haucap, Justus and Müller, Andrea, Why are Economists so Different? Nature, Nurture and Gender Effects in a Simple Trust Game (March 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2482246 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2482246

Justus Haucap (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Department of Economics ( email )

Duesseldorf
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.dice.uni-duesseldorf.de

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Andrea Müller

Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf - Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany

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