IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trends in U.S. economics majors: Why the decline in the 1990s?


  • Bruce Skoorka
  • Carol Condon


This paper identifies factors that are important in explaining recent trends in undergraduate economics majors. The decline in economics majors during the 1990s has caused concern in the profession because the declining trend had been attributed to a general decrease in student interest in the economics major. This study uses least squares regression techniques to explain trends in economics bechelor degrees granted by 20 New Jersey colleges and universities during the 1979–2000 period, with implications for the national level. The results show that trends in economics majors are primarily a function of demographic trends, business cycle conditions, and the desire to attend post-graduate professional school. None-the-less, the authors conclude that the declining trend in economics majors in the 1990s is still cause for concern because understanding economic principles is important in the development of a globally competitive workforce. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Skoorka & Carol Condon, 2003. "Trends in U.S. economics majors: Why the decline in the 1990s?," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 31(2), pages 195-204, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:2:p:195-204
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02319871

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Colander, 2000. "Telling Better Stories in Introductory Macro," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 76-80, May.
    2. Siegfried, John J & Raymond, Jennie E, 1984. "A Profile of Senior Economics Majors in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 19-25, May.
    3. Michael P. Keane, 2002. "Financial Aid, Borrowing Constraints, and College Attendance: Evidence from Structural Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 293-297, May.
    4. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:2:p:195-204. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.