A sceptic's comment on the study of economics

Ariel Rubinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


A survey was carried out among two groups of undergraduate economics students and four groups of students in mathematics, law, philosophy and business administration. The main survey question involved a conflict between profit maximisation and the welfare of the workers who would be fired to achieve it. Significant differences were found between the choices of the groups. The results were reinforced by a survey conducted among readers of an Israeli business newspaper and PhD students of Harvard. It is argued that the overly mathematical methods used to teach economics encourage students to lean towards profit maximisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C1-C9
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number510
StatePublished - Mar 2006


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