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Modeling Student Subject Choice at Secondary and Tertiary Level: A Cross-Section Study

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  • John Ashworth
  • J. Lynne Evans

Abstract

Cross-section data on secondary level student choices provide evidence on factors influencing the decision to study economics. Such evidence makes a key contribution to the broader debates on why student numbers have been falling in economics and why women are reluctant economists. Greater mathematical aptitude and prior knowledge of the subject influence the decision to study economics, and a significant effect is attributable to relative underachievement in economics. There are also significant peer group and teacher effects. Female students are more likely to study economics when there is a critical mass of women studying the subject. There is a positive role model effect of female teachers—although this does not carry over to the decision to continue with economics at the university.

Suggested Citation

  • John Ashworth & J. Lynne Evans, 2001. "Modeling Student Subject Choice at Secondary and Tertiary Level: A Cross-Section Study," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 311-320, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:32:y:2001:i:4:p:311-320
    DOI: 10.1080/00220480109596111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fertig, Michael, 2003. "Educational Production, Endogenous Peer Group Formation and Class Composition – Evidence from the PISA 2000 Study," IZA Discussion Papers 714, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2008. "Is the gender gap in school performance affected by the sex of the teacher," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 37-53, February.
    3. repec:zbw:rwidps:0002 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Leonard c. Smith, 2009. "An Analysis Of The Impact Of Pedagogic Interventions In First-Year Academic Development And Mainstream Courses In Microeconomics," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(1), pages 162-178, March.
    5. Unkovic, Cait & Sen, Maya & Quinn, Kevin M., 2015. "Does Encouragement Matter in Improving Gender Imbalances in Technical Fields? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," Working Paper Series rwp15-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Fred H. Smith & Christina Zenker, 2014. "Still staying away: Women and the economics major – evidence from two Southern liberal arts colleges," Econometrics Letters, Bilimsel Mektuplar Organizasyonu (Scientific letters), vol. 1(2), pages 1-7.
    7. Griffith, Amanda L., 2010. "Persistence of women and minorities in STEM field majors: Is it the school that matters?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 911-922, December.
    8. Fertig, Michael, 2003. "Educational Production, Endogenous Peer Group Formation and Class Composition - Evidence From the PISA 2000 Study," RWI Discussion Papers 2, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    9. Michael Fertig, 2002. "Educational Production, Endogenous Peer Group Formation and Class Composition – Evidence From the PISA 2000 Study," RWI Discussion Papers 0002, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    10. Stefan Speckesser & Sophie Hedges, 2017. "Peer Effects and Social Influence in Post-16 Educational Choice," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 483, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    11. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
    12. Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters & Eric Thompson, 2013. "The Gender Question in Economic Education: Is it the Teacher or the Test?," Working Papers 13-12, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    13. repec:cep:cverdp:008 is not listed on IDEAS

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