Are economists rational, or just different?

Tammy James1, Lewis Soroka2, John G. Benjafield2
1University of Waterloo, Canada
2Brock University, Canada
Cite this article:  James, T., Soroka, L., & Benjafield, J. (2001). Are economists rational, or just different?. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29, 359-364.

Volume 29 Issue 4 | e1090 | Published: June 2001 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2001.29.4.359

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There is evidence that American economics undergraduates are more likely than others to act self-interestedly and less likely to behave cooperatively. In two experiments, differences between Americans and Canadians and between economics students and psychology students were examined. Data from simple bargaining and a prisoner’s dilemma game are presented, which suggest that Canadian students may be more cooperative than American students, and psych-ology students less selfish than either economics students or students from other disciplines. However, these results suggest also that these relationships are not simple, and that other variables – such as gender – need to be taken into account.
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