Update Dec 17 2011: The paper was eventually published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (79: 318-327, 2011) and featured in the NY Times (“The dismal education”, Dec 18 2011).

Elaina Rose and I have a new working paper out: Why are economics students more selfish than the rest?

The abstract: 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.

Comments are welcome!