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Does more calculus improve student learning in intermediate micro- and macroeconomic theory?

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  • J. S. Butler

    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA)

  • T. Aldrich Finegan

    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA)

  • John J. Siegfried

    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA)

Abstract

Using a selection bias correction model with ordered probit, we estimate how a second semester of calculus affects students' grades in intermediate economic theory. Selection bias correction is needed because similar aptitudes and interests often lead students to enroll and do well in both mathematics and economics. A sample of students enrolled in 49 classes of intermediate micro and 41 classes of intermediate macro is used to estimate the model. The results show a predicted payoff from a second semester of calculus of about one whole letter grade in intermediate micro, but no payoff in intermediate macro. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • J. S. Butler & T. Aldrich Finegan & John J. Siegfried, 1998. "Does more calculus improve student learning in intermediate micro- and macroeconomic theory?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 185-202.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:13:y:1998:i:2:p:185-202
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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/1998-v13.2/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric Ghysels, 1993. "A time series model with periodic stochastic regime switching," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 84, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    2. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Quandt, Richard E., 1973. "A Markov model for switching regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-15, March.
    3. Ghysels, Eric, 1994. "On the Periodic Structure of the Business Cycle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 289-298, July.
    4. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-328, April.
    5. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ann L. Owen, 2011. "Student Characteristics, Behavior, and Performance in Economics Classes," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 32 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. William Greene, 2014. "Models for ordered choices," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 15, pages 333-362 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Jeffrey J. Green & Courtenay C. Stone & Abera Zegeye & Thomas A. Charles, 2007. "Changes in Math Prerequisites and Student Performance in Business Statistics: Do Math Prerequisites Really Matter?," Working Papers 200704, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2007.
    4. Wan-Ju Iris Franz, 2007. "Grade Inflation under the Threat of Students' Nuisance: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 070806, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    5. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Kaderschmieden der Wirtschaft und/oder Universitäten? Der Auftrag der Wirtschaftsuniversitäten und –fakultäten im 21. Jahrhundert," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, pages 317-337.
    6. William H. Greene & David A. Hensher, 2008. "Modeling Ordered Choices: A Primer and Recent Developments," Working Papers 08-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    7. Johan N. M. Lagerlöf & Andrew J. Seltzer, 2009. "The Effects of Remedial Mathematics on the Learning of Economics: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 115-137.
    8. William Greene, 2007. "Discrete Choice Modeling," Working Papers 07-6, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Mary Ellen Benedict & John Hoag, 2011. "Factors Influencing Performance in Economics: Graphs and Quantitative Usage," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Sam Allgood & William B. Walstad & John J. Siegfried, 2015. "Research on Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(2), pages 285-325, June.
    11. 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.

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