DP3660 | Good Neighbours / Bad Citizens: Personal Value Priorities of Economists

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Several recent studies found that the behaviour of economists was less cooperative than the behaviour of non-economists. Other studies found, however, that economists behaved no differently than other individuals. In this Paper, we study this issue by examining personal value priorities of economics students and students from other disciplines. Values are desirable goals that transcend specific situations and serve as guiding principles in people's lives. We find that the value priorities reported by students of economics are different from those reported by students from other fields: Economists attribute more importance to achievement and power values and less importance to universalism. Our findings also indicate that the value differences between students of economics and students from other disciplines were already apparent before students were exposed to training in economics.