Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?
AbstractAlthough field experiments and classroom surveys are ambiguous about whether economists are less likely than others to cooperate in social dilemmas, three important points remain clear: economics training encourages the view that people are motivated primarily by self-interest; there is clear evidence that this view leads people to expect others to defect in social dilemmas; and there is also evidence that, when people expect partners to defect, they are overwhelmingly likely to defect themselves. These points' logical implications appear to place a heavy burden of proof on those who insist economics training does not inhibit cooperation.
CitationFrank, Robert H., Thomas D. Gilovich, and Dennis T. Regan. 1996. "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10 (1): 187-192. DOI: 10.1257/jep.10.1.187
- A11 Role of Economics; Role of Economists
- A13 Relation of Economics to Social Values