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Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Bruno Frey and Stephan Meier ()

Economic Inquiry, 2003, vol. 41, issue 3, 448-462

Abstract: Most professional economists believe that economists in general are more selfish than other people and that this increased selfishness is due to economics education. This article offers empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about giving behavior 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 behavior of economists can be explained by a selection effect. (JEL A13, A20, H41) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

JEL-codes: A13 A20 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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