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Are People Trained in Economics “Different,†and if so, Why? A Literature Review

Simon Niklas Hellmich

The American Economist, 2019, vol. 64, issue 2, 246-268

Abstract: Some argue that frequent confrontation with the homo economicus actor-concept motivates economists to adjust their behavior to that paradigm. Another thesis is that economists are different because the discipline attracts individuals with preferences that differ from those of noneconomists. This article discusses survey, experimental, and field evidence collected during this debate. In certain situations, there appear differences between the behavior of people trained in economics and other groups, but as the existing evidence is mostly ambiguous, a comprehensive picture of the nature and sources of these differences has not yet emerged. The article concludes that economics teachers and researchers should pay more attention to the influence the normative statements inherent in basic neoclassical economics can have on cognitive frames and interindividual processes in moral decision making. JEL Classifications : A13, A2

Keywords: education; economic man; preferences; self-interest (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1177/0569434519829433

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Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:64:y:2019:i:2:p:246-268