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Assessment of the Undergraduate Economics Major: A National Survey


  • Steven C. Myers
  • Michael A. Nelson
  • Richard W. Stratton


Economics departments are faced with growing demands to document what their graduates have learned on completion of the undergraduate major. The results of a national survey of economics department chairs in the United States reveal that nearly two-thirds of the departments have a formal assessment plan. There is substantial agreement on the most important student-learning outcomes, which are consistent with the Hansen proficiencies. The most common approaches that departments employ to measure learning outcomes are course-embedded assessments and senior exit surveys. Capstone courses and senior projects as program assessment methods are most common in departments that are not in business schools and are without doctoral programs. Finally, more than half of the departments have adjusted their curriculum based on the results of their own assessment plans.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven C. Myers & Michael A. Nelson & Richard W. Stratton, 2011. "Assessment of the Undergraduate Economics Major: A National Survey," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 195-199, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:42:y:2011:i:2:p:195-199 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2011.555722

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sheryl B. Ball & Charles A. Holt, 1998. "Classroom Games: Speculation and Bubbles in an Asset Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 207-218, Winter.
    2. Plott, Charles R & Sunder, Shyam, 1988. "Rational Expectations and the Aggregation of Diverse Information in Laboratory Security Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1085-1118, September.
    3. Martin Dufwenberg & Tobias Lindqvist & Evan Moore, 2005. "Bubbles and Experience: An Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1731-1737, December.
    4. Oechssler, Jörg & Schmidt, Carsten & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2007. "Asset bubbles without dividends : an experiment," Papers 07-01, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    5. Forsythe, Robert & Palfrey, Thomas R & Plott, Charles R, 1982. "Asset Valuation in an Experimental Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 537-567, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters & Andrew Perumal, 2013. "Success in Economics Major: Is it Path Dependent?," Working Papers 13-11, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    2. W. Lee Hansen, 2011. "An Expected Proficiencies Approach to the Economics Major," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. William Bosshardt & Michael Watts & William E. Becker, 2013. "Course Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 643-647, May.
    4. Li, Ishuan & Simonson, Robert D., 2016. "The value of a redesigned program and capstone course in economics," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 48-58.

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