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Student Drops and Failure in Principles Courses


  • William Bosshardt


Many studies have identified factors that contribute to success in economics principles courses, but few have examined the causes and effects of student drops and failure. The author follows 239 students through their economic principles course and tracks the students in the year after the course. The author constructs a model predicting student noncompletion of the course (drops) to identify factors that may reduce student drops. The fate of these students is important to instructors who are concerned about the large number of students who drop or do not make the grade and wonder what impact the students' failure will have on their immediate future. The issue also may be viewed as one of efficiency—why should students who are struggling bother continuing in a course. To investigate this issue, the author compared students who were at risk but did not drop to those who dropped in terms of their academic performance after the principles course.

Suggested Citation

  • William Bosshardt, 2004. "Student Drops and Failure in Principles Courses," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 111-128, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:35:y:2004:i:2:p:111-128
    DOI: 10.3200/JECE.35.2.111-128

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    Cited by:

    1. William Bosshardt & Peter E. Kennedy, 2011. "Data Resources and Econometric Techniques," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 35 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

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