Sunday, December 06, 2009

Why economists and women are not nice

Everybody thinks economists are wicked people who would cheerfully send children up chimneys, cut the minimum wage and [horror of horrors] make well-off people pay for their own investments in higher education. Now we have the evidence to prove it.

Why are economics students more selfish than the rest?
  1. Elaina Rose (with Yoram Bauman)
A substantial body of research suggests that economists are less generous than other professionals and that economics students are less generous than other students. 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 economics training over time in order to distinguish selection effects from indoctrination effects. We find that economics majors 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.
http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2009-20&r=cbe

4 comments:

Peter Carney said...

imagine a world full of us.. would there be charities at all? or any need for them?

Kevin Denny said...

A world full of economists? Doesn't bear thinking about. It calls to mind the episode of the Simpsons where the brainy guys take over (Frink, Comic-book guy, Skinner) and the place descends into chaos.

Martin Ryan said...

Well not all economists are the same. Does every economist feel the need for a social safety net? Would some have to do a cost-benefit calculation before advocating the existence of a social safety net? I wouldn't...

Peter Carney said...

haha! Take that, East St. Louis!