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Political Orientation and the Decision to Major in Economics: Some Preliminary Observations

  • Robin L. Bartlett

    (Denison University)

  • Marianne A. Ferber

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Carole A. Green

    ()

    (University of South Florida)

Registered author(s):

    Studies find that students major in economics for a variety of reasons. None, however, have examined students' political orientations as a possible factor in their choice of majors. Economics, as compared to other social sciences, tends to produce conservative policy recommendations. This pilot study explores whether more conservative students are attracted to economics. Our study found that men with conservative political leanings are more likely to major in economics and that male students in economics are more conservative than female students. Political orientation, however, does not appear to be a significant factor in the choice of a major for women.

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    File URL: http://economicsnetwork.ac.uk/iree/v8n1/bartlett.pdf
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    Article provided by Economics Network, University of Bristol in its journal International Review of Economics Education.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 13-31

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    Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:8:y:2009:i:1:p:13-31
    Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Bristol, BS8 1HH, United Kingdom
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    1. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    2. Roberta Edgecombe Robb & A. Leslie Robb, 1999. "Gender and the Study of Economics: The Role of Gender of the Instructor," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 3-19, January.
    3. Blakemore, Arthur E & Low, Stuart A, 1984. "Sex Differences in Occupational Selection: The Case of College Majors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 157-63, February.
    4. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
    5. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Dominic Brewer & Daniel Goldhaber, 1995. "Do teachers' race, gender, and ethnicity matter? Evidence from the NELS," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(3), pages 547-561, April.
    6. Dan A. Black & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2003. "The Economic Reward for Studying Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 365-377, July.
    7. Abrams, Burton A & Settle, Russell F, 1999. " Women's Suffrage and the Growth of the Welfare State," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 289-300, September.
    8. Henrique Monteiro & Alexandra Ferreira Lopes, 2007. "A Benchmarking of the Undergraduate Economics Major in Europe and the United States," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 6(2), pages 9-26.
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