Skiljer sig studenter i nationalekonomi från andra när det gäller synen att marknadstransaktioner är ömsesidigt gynnsamma? En ny studie, ”The Impact of Studying Economics, and Other Disciplines, on the Belief that Voluntary Exchange Makes Everyone Better Off”, finner att de gör det, både när studierna påbörjas och, i ännu högre grad, när studierna är på väg att avslutas:
The first finding is that students specializing in different disciplines already differ with respect to that belief at the very start of their studies, namely during the first week of their first year at the university. Typically, economics and management science students agree more with the idea that voluntary transactions make those involved better off than students of psychology, law, sciences, or other social sciences. Our survey therefore provides additional evidence of a self-selection bias in higher education. The survey moreover provides evidence of a learning effect of studying different topics. This learning effect takes two guises. First, the answers of students from different disciplines tend to drift apart over the course of their studies. Thus, final year economics students agree more with the statement that voluntary transactions make those involved better off than their first year fellows. Similarly, final year law students and psychology students tend to disagree more than students who have just started the same studies. … Second, we observe that the answers of economics students tend to become more homogeneous over time. That effect is only observed in economics.
Resultatet om ökad homogenitet kan kanske tolkas som ett resultat av att studenter i nationalekonomi faktiskt studerar det frågan rör och att deras kunskapsinhämtning gör att de konvergerar i uppfattning.