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Minimum Grade Requirements for Economics Majors: Effects on Enrollments and Student Learning


  • Stephen J. Schmidt


This paper studies one college's policy requiring minimum grades in core courses for completion of the economics major. The policy reduced majors by approximately 6 percent. Grades of C- and D (requiring students to retake the course) dropped substantially, while grades of C (the minimum acceptable grade) did not change, and grades from C+ to B rose. Difference-in-difference analysis suggests that the policy caused the grade shift. Because C grades did not change and grades as high as B increased, I conclude that the policy caused increased effort by students who were below and somewhat above the performance standard.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen J. Schmidt, 2021. "Minimum Grade Requirements for Economics Majors: Effects on Enrollments and Student Learning," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 111, pages 107-111, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:apandp:v:111:y:2021:p:107-11
    DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20211046

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    Cited by:

    1. Bleemer , Zachary & Mehta, Aashish, 2021. "College Major Restrictions and Student Stratification," University of California at Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education qt513249vg, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.

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    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate


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