Does Ethics Training Neutralize the Incentives of the Prisoner's Dilemma? Evidence from a Classroom Experiment
- 196 Downloads
Teaching economics has been shown to encourage students to defect in a prisoner's dilemma game. However, can ethics training reverse that effect and promote cooperation? We conducted an experiment to answer this question. We found that students who had the ethics module had higher rates of cooperation than students without the ethics module, even after controlling for communication and other factors expected to affect cooperation. We conclude that the teaching of ethics can mitigate the possible adverse incentives of the prisoner's dilemma, and, by implication, the adverse effects of economics and business training.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Dawes, Robyn M. and Richard H. Thaler: 1988, 'Anomolies: Cooperation', Journal of Economic Perspectives 2(3), 187–197.Google Scholar
- Frank, Robert H., Thomas D. Gilovich and Dennis T. Regan: 1993, 'Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?', Journal of Economic Perspectives 7(2), 159–171.Google Scholar
- Frank, Robert H., Thomas D. Gilovich and Dennis T. Regan: 1996, 'Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?', Journal of Economic Perspectives 10(1), 187–192.Google Scholar
- Gautschi, F. H. and T. M. Jones: 1998, 'Enhancing the Ability of Business Students to Recognize Ethical Issues: An Empirical Assessment of the Effectiveness of a Course in Business Ethics', Journal of Business Ethics 17, 205–216.Google Scholar
- Kidder, R. M.: 1995, How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living (William Morrow, New York).Google Scholar
- McCabe, D. L.: 1992, 'The Influence of Situational Ethics Among College Students', Journal of Sociological Inquiry 63, 365–374.Google Scholar
- Singer, Peter: 1994, Ethics (Oxford, New York).Google Scholar