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The Discouraged-Business-Major Hypothesis Revisited: Could Economics be the Encouraged-Business-Major?


  • Carlos J. Asarta
  • Roger B. Butters


The term “Discouraged-Business-Major” (DBM) describes students who become discouraged with the rigorous standards of colleges of business and migrate to colleges of arts and sciences to complete a degree in economics under relaxed requirements (Salemi and Eubanks 1996). Following Salemi and Eubanks, the present authors examine a decade of demographic characteristics and ability measures for every economics and business graduate at a large Midwestern university. They find DBMs, but also note that major selection dynamics are much more complex than originally expected. Finally, they employ a multinomial logit model to estimate the marginal effects of student characteristics on major choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos J. Asarta & Roger B. Butters, 2012. "The Discouraged-Business-Major Hypothesis Revisited: Could Economics be the Encouraged-Business-Major?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 19-32, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:43:y:2012:i:1:p:19-32
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2011.636707

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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. Franklin G. Mixon & Richard J. Cebula (ed.), 2014. "New Developments in Economic Education," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15538.

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