Econ Courses Make Students Less Generous

January 25, 2012

On December 2 of 2011, Harvard Business Review “Daily Stat” published the following:

Econ Courses Make Students Less Generous

College economics courses have the effect of making non-econ majors less generous, at least toward nonprofits. Taking introductory microeconomics reduces a nonmajor’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, according to Yoram Bauman and Elaina Rose of the University of Washington. It’s unclear whether this is the result of exposure to economics concepts, exposure to econ faculty and students, or some other cause, the researchers say.

So why, pray tell, are a bunch of economists running our country, in an age where we need generosity more than ever?