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Two Concerns about Rational Choice: Indoctrination and Imperialism


Frey, Bruno S; Meier, Stephan (2002). Two Concerns about Rational Choice: Indoctrination and Imperialism. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 104, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Rational Choice Theory is often criticized to indoctrinate students in a negative, which is supported by some laboratory experiments. But do students of Rational Choice Theory really behave more selfishly? This paper presents evidence from a natural decision on voluntary donation at the University of Zurich. The analysis of the very large panel data set reaches significant different results than previous studies: Rational Choice Theory does not indoctrinate students. However, there are good other reasons to criticize Rational Choice Theory. The paper argues that ideas from other social sciences should be imported to improve the theory. Three elements are presented which lead to new and different policy conclusions.

Abstract

Rational Choice Theory is often criticized to indoctrinate students in a negative, which is supported by some laboratory experiments. But do students of Rational Choice Theory really behave more selfishly? This paper presents evidence from a natural decision on voluntary donation at the University of Zurich. The analysis of the very large panel data set reaches significant different results than previous studies: Rational Choice Theory does not indoctrinate students. However, there are good other reasons to criticize Rational Choice Theory. The paper argues that ideas from other social sciences should be imported to improve the theory. Three elements are presented which lead to new and different policy conclusions.

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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:January 2002
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:26
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 15:35
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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