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Does Studying Economics Breed Greed?

January 4th, 2014 humas 1 comment

Oleh: Adam Grant, dalam huffingtonpost.com

Adam Grant

In 1776, Adam Smith famously wrote: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

Economists have run with this insight for hundreds of years, and some experts think they’ve run a bit too far. Robert Frank, an economist at Cornell, believes that his profession is squashing cooperation and generosity. And he believes he has the evidence to prove it. Consider these data points:

Less charitable giving: in the U.S., economics professors gave less money to charity than professors in other fields — including history, philosophy, education, psychology, sociology, anthropology, literature, physics, chemistry, and biology. More than twice as many economics professors gave zero dollars to charity than professors from the other fields.

More deception for personal gain: economics students in Germany were more likely than students from other majors to recommend an overpriced plumber when they were paid to do it. Read more…