IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

District level mandates and high school students' understanding of economics


  • Grimes, Paul W.
  • Millea, Meghan J.
  • Thomas, M. Kathleen


This paper investigates the impact of district-level course mandates on students’ end-of-course economic understanding. Data were collected from Mississippi high school students studying economics in three different course environments. Students were either enrolled in a one semester economics course required for graduation, enrolled in a one semester course taken as an elective, or studying economics as an infusion subject within a United States history course. A regression-based selection model was estimated to control for students’ demographic characteristics, educational attributes, market experiences, and school attributes. The results indicated that student test scores were significantly less for those students studying economics as an infusion subject and when taking a mandated stand-alone course, ceteris paribus. The authors conclude that course mandates may result in teacher and student issues that reduce the overall observed level of test performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Grimes, Paul W. & Millea, Meghan J. & Thomas, M. Kathleen, 2008. "District level mandates and high school students' understanding of economics," MPRA Paper 39883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39883

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, William E & Walstad, William B, 1990. "Data Loss from Pretest to Posttest as a Sample Selection Problem," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 184-188, February.
    2. William B. Walstad, 2001. "Economic Education in U.S. High Schools," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 195-210, Summer.
    3. Grimes, Paul W. & Millea, Meghan J., 2003. "Economic education as public policy: the determinants of state-level mandates," MPRA Paper 39884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. William B. Walstad & Ken Rebeck, 2001. "Assessing the Economic Understanding of U.S. High School Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 452-457, May.
    5. William B. Walstad & Stephen Buckles, 2008. "The National Assessment of Educational Progress in Economics: Findings for General Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 541-546, May.
    6. Belfield, Clive R. & Levin, Henry M., 2004. "Should high school economics courses be compulsory?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 351-360, August.
    7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Phillip Saunders, 2011. "A history of economic education," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Cynthia Harter & John F.R. Harter, 2010. "Is Financial Literacy Improved by Participating in a Stock Market Game?," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 10(1), pages 21-32, Summer.
    3. Kimberly Burnett & Sumner La Croix, 2010. "The Dog ATE my Economics Homework! Estimates of the Average Effect of Treating Hawaii’s Public High School Students with Economics," Working Papers 2010-01, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

    More about this item


    Mandates; Economic literacy; High School; Education policy;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • A21 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Pre-college


    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:pra:mprapa:39883. 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: (Joachim Winter). 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.