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Does prior knowledge of economics and higher level mathematics improve student learning in principles of economics?

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  • Mallik, Girijasankar
  • Shankar, Sriram

Abstract

Using the instrumental variable two stage least square (IV2SLS) and generalised method of moments (IVGMM) estimations, this paper investigates the relative importance of a wide range of variables on student performance in multiple choice and short answer questions in a first year principles of economics (PE) subject. The multi-year data set provides detailed demographic and performance characteristics of 2186 students enrolled in a major multi-campus university. Results from IVGMM and IV2SLS estimation indicate that higher levels of mathematics and economics taken prior to university are associated with significantly improved student performance in PE. Results also indicate that prior economics knowledge has more influence than prior mathematics knowledge on student performance in PE. Students with better understanding of mathematics perform significantly better in multiple choice questions. On the other hand, prior mathematics knowledge does not significantly affect the marks in short answer questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mallik, Girijasankar & Shankar, Sriram, 2016. "Does prior knowledge of economics and higher level mathematics improve student learning in principles of economics?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 66-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecanpo:v:49:y:2016:i:c:p:66-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2015.12.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alauddin, Mohammad & Ashman, Adrian & Nghiem, Son & Lovell, Knox, 2016. "What determines students’ study practices in higher education? An instrumental variable approach," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 46-54.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Principles of economics; Learning; Mathematics; 2SLS and GMM;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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