Economics education and greed

Long Wang*, Deepak Malhotra, J. Keith Murnighan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recent financial crisis, and repeated corporate scandals, raise serious questions about whether a business school education contributes to what some have described as a culture of greed. The dominance of economic-related courses in MBA curricula led us to assess the effects of economics education on greed in three studies using multiple methods. Study 1 found that economics majors and students who had taken multiple economics courses kept more money in a money allocation task (the Dictator Game). Study 2 found that economics education was associated with more positive attitudes toward greed and toward one's own greedy behavior. Study 3 found that a short statement on the societal benefits of self-interest led to more positive ratings of greed's moral acceptability, even for noneconomics students. These effects suggest that economics education may have serious, albeit unintended consequences on our students' attitudes toward greed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-660
Number of pages18
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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