Why do students study economics?
AbstractThis paper presents a chronological, adaptive and reflective investigation into students’ perceptions of and motivations for choosing to study economics. Applications of multiple techniques to student-level primary data reveal the following. First, students’ perceptions of economics are on average somewhat negative, although there is considerable variation. Second, they regard economics as having value, in terms of providing insight, specialist knowledge, and skills of argumentation (all of which are perceived to be superior to peers). Third, they recognise the subject yields financial and other career advantages and has kudos. Fourth, they suggest that the relevance and usefulness of economics is important and consequently that excessive theorisation and a lack of practicality are problematic. These findings have considerable implications for how economics is taught, and for the nature of the subject itself.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol in its series Working Papers with number 20131303.
Date of creation: 03 Jan 2013
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Mixed-methods; UK student perceptions; Realisticness; Focus groups; Survey;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
- A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2013-10-02 (Education)
- NEP-HME-2013-10-02 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-HPE-2013-10-02 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2013-10-02 (Post Keynesian Economics)
- NEP-SOG-2013-10-02 (Sociology of Economics)
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