Journal of Scientific Papers


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ISSN 2071-789X

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Strike Plagiarism

  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

  • Membership:

    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




Are economic majors “indoctrinated” by their education? Public good game quasi-experiment

Vol. 15, No 2, 2022

Joanna Dzionek-Kozlowska


University of Lodz,

Lodz, Poland


ORCID 0000-0003-2146-5491


Are economic majors “indoctrinated” by their education? Public good game quasi-experiment


Jaroslaw Neneman


University of Lodz,

Lodz, Poland


ORCID 0000-0003-0865-4706


Abstract. Economic education is commonly blamed for negatively affecting students’ values and attitudes. Students of economics are repeatedly reported to differ from other majors. The differences are commonly explained by the learning effect (the indoctrination hypothesis) and the self-selection of specific persons to economics. We aim to contribute to the nurture vs nature debate on economics students by testing the indoctrination (nurture) and the self-selection (nature) hypotheses. Working with undergraduate economics and non-economic majors (N=286), we ran a Public Good Game (PGG) quasi-experiment. To test the self-selection hypothesis, we compared levels of donation in the PGG by both subsamples. To test the indoctrination hypothesis, we (1) analysed the results of economics students at different stages of their education and (2) juxtaposed their donations in the PGG with their academic performance. If economic education affects student attitudes, those who master economic theory better should be more “indoctrinated” and, as such, less eager to donate their endowments to the common fund in the PGG. However, no difference between the results of the first-year and second-year students has been found. Also, no correlation between exam scores and students’ donations in the PGG has been revealed. Nonetheless, we have detected a statistically significant difference between the economics and non-economics majors, which allows us to conclude that economics students’ atypicality comes from their self-selection of economic studies and is not attributable to economic teaching.


Received: September, 2021

1st Revision: April, 2022

Accepted: June, 2022


DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2022/15-2/7

JEL ClassificationA13, A20, C72, Z13

Keywords: economic education, Public Good Game, self-interest, social norms, Poland