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Basic Math Skills and Performance in an Introductory Economics Class

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Author Info

  • Charles L. Ballard
  • Marianne F. Johnson

Abstract

The authors measure math skills with a broader set of explanatory variables than have been used in previous studies. To identify what math skills are important for student success in introductory microeconomics, they examine (1) the student's score on the mathematics portion of the ACT Assessment Test, (2) whether the student has taken calculus, (3) whether the student has been required to take remedial mathematics, and (4) the student's score on a test of very basic mathematical concepts. All four measures have significant effects in explaining performance in an introductory microeconomics course. The authors find similar results, regardless of whether they use self-reported information from students or official administrative records from the university. The results suggest that improvements in student performance may depend on improved mastery of basic algebra.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3200/JECE.35.1.3-23
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

Volume (Year): 35 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 3-23

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:35:y:2004:i:1:p:3-23

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alexei G. Orlov & John Roufagalas, 2012. "Performance Determinants in Undergraduate Economics Classes: The Effect of Cognitive Reflection," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(2), pages 28-45.
  2. Jeffrey J. Green & Courtenay C. Stone & Abera Zegeye & Thomas A. Charles, 2007. "Changes in Math Prerequisites and Student Performance in Business Statistics: Do Math Prerequisites Really Matter?," Working Papers 200704, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2007.
  3. Zhang, Lemin & Marsh, Dan, 2006. "How Can We Predict Performance in Tertiary Level Economics?," 2006 Conference, August 24-25, 2006, Nelson, New Zealand 31974, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  4. Lagerlöf, Johan N.M. & Seltzer, Andrew J, 2008. "The Effects of Remedial Mathematics on the Learning of Economics: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Averil Cook, 2010. "Improving the Success Rate in Statistics," Discussion Papers Series 415, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  6. Jeffrey J. Green & Courtenay C. Stone & Abera Zegeye & Thomas A. Charles, 2008. "How Much Math Do Students Need to Succeed in Business and Economics Statistics? An Ordered Probit Analysis," Working Papers 200802, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2008.
  7. Rupert G. Rhodd & Sandra M. Schrouder & Marcus T. Allen, 2009. "Does the Performance on Principles of Economics Courses Affect the Overall Academic Success of Undergraduate Business Majors?," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(1), pages 48-63.
  8. Tasnádi, Attila & Kánnai, Zoltán & Pintér, Miklós, 2010. "Matematikaoktatás a bolognai típusú gazdasági képzésekben
    [Maths instruction in Bologna-type economics tuition]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 261-277.
  9. Carlos J. Asarta & James R. Schmidt, 2013. "Student Choices of Reduced Seat Time in a Blended Introductory Statistics Course," Working Papers 13-14, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  10. Justine Burns & Simon Halliday & Malcolm Keswell, 2012. "Gender and Risk Taking in the Classroom," SALDRU Working Papers 87, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  11. Elizabeth Knowles & Glenn Knowles, 2012. "Lessons Learned from a Course-Embedded Assessment Process: Foreign Exchange Markets in Principles of Economics," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 12(1), pages 26-37, Fall.
  12. Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters & Andrew Perumal, 2013. "Success in Economics Major: Is it Path Dependent?," Working Papers 13-11, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  13. Chang Da Wan & Roland K. Cheo, 2012. "Determinants of Malaysian and Singaporean Economics Undergraduates' Academic Performance," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(2), pages 7-27.
  14. Susan Pozo & Charles A. Stull, 2006. "Requiring a Math Skills Unit: Results of a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 437-441, May.
  15. Cynthia Harter & John F.R. Harter, 2010. "Is Financial Literacy Improved by Participating in a Stock Market Game?," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 10(1), pages 21-32, Summer.
  16. Hunjra, Ahmed Imran & Rehman, Kashif-Ur- & Ahmad, Abrar & Safwan, Nadeem & Rehman, Ijaz-Ur, 2009. "Factors explaining the choice of finance major: students’ perception towards finance profession," MPRA Paper 40687, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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