Monday, March 21, 2011

Are Economists Bad People?

Selection or indoctrination: Why do economics students donate less than the rest?

Yoram Bauman & Elaina Rose
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract: A substantial body of research suggests that economists are less generous than other professionals and that economics students are less generous than other students. Following Frey and Meier (2003), we address this question using administrative data on donations to social programs by students at the University of Washington. Our data set allows us to track student donations and microeconomics training over time in order to distinguish selection effects from indoctrination effects. We find that there is a selection effect for economics majors, who are less likely to donate than other students, and that there is an indoctrination effect for non-majors but not for majors. Women majors and non-majors are less likely to contribute than comparable men.


Gerardo said...

But we generate tremendous positive externalities.

Justin Ross said...

Perhaps because we recognize the social benefits of private savings, as well as the complex incentive issues in giving aid.

Willy B Good said...

Everytime I buy a bunch of stuff for myself, I'm helping to create jobs and contributing to the nation through the GST. Please don't tell me I'm not helping.