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Political Economists are Neither Selfish nor Indoctrinated


Frey, Bruno S; Meier, Stephan (2000). Political Economists are Neither Selfish nor Indoctrinated. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 69, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Most professional economists believe that economist in general are more selfish than other persons and that this greater selfishness is due to economic education. In this paper we offer empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about giving behaviour to two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economic training does not make people act more selfish. However, the 'natural experiment' supports the hypothesis that the different behaviour of economist can be explained by a selection effect.

Abstract

Most professional economists believe that economist in general are more selfish than other persons and that this greater selfishness is due to economic education. In this paper we offer empirical evidence against this widely held belief. Using a unique data set about giving behaviour to two social funds at the University of Zurich, it is shown that economic training does not make people act more selfish. However, the 'natural experiment' supports the hypothesis that the different behaviour of economist can be explained by a selection effect.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2000
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:26
Last Modified:10 Aug 2018 05:27
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
OA Status:Green
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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