Economically speaking…

According to a research conducted by Yoram Bauman and Elaina Rose of the University of Washington (“Why are economics students more selfish than the rest?“), college economics courses have the effect of making non-economics majors less generous, at least towards nonprofits.

In experiments, the researchers found that economics students are not only less generous, they are also more likely to choose an uncooperative approach and more likely to accept bribes. It is unclear whether this is the result of exposure to economics concepts, exposure to economics faculty and students, or some other causes.

In their research paper, Bauman and Rose said that taking introductory microeconomics reduces a non-major’s likelihood of donating to specific nonprofits by 2 percentage points, and an intermediate course reduces the likelihood by 3.7 to 7.9 percentage points.

You can also read about Bauman’s Op-Ed piece on this topic in The New York Times here.

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