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Motivation and Math Skills as Determinants of First-Year Performance in Economics

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  • Ivo J. M. Arnold
  • Jerry T. Straten

Abstract

The importance of math skills for study success in economics has been widely researched. This article adds to the literature by combining information on students’ math skills and their motivation. The authors are thus able to present a rich picture of why students succeed in their study of economics and to confirm previous findings that deficient math preparation bodes ill for first-year study success in economics. However, the authors also find that within the population of math-deficient students, motivation matters. Applying factor analysis to a survey of students at Erasmus School of Economics, the authors identify four motivational factors; among these, intrinsic motivation is most strongly related to first-year study success. The authors also show that intrinsic motivation may help to overcome inadequate preparatory math education.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220485.2012.636709
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 43 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 33-47

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:1:p:33-47

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