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Economic education for at-risk students: an evaluation of Choices & Changes


  • Grimes, Paul W.


This paper presents an evaluation of Choices & Changes, an economics education program designed to teach "at-risk" children in elementary and junior high school that they can control their future by making wise choices and investing in themselves. Using program-specific instruments and a national sample of approximately 1600 students, a controlled experiment was conducted to determine the effect of Choices & Changes on student learning and attitudes. The experimental data were analyzed using a simultaneous model estimated by 2SLS with correction for self-selection due to sample attrition between pre- and post-test observations. The results indicate that Choices & Changes had a positive effect on economic understanding for each grade level examined, ceteris paribus. Significant positive effects on attitudes were found in only one of the four student groups. These findings suggest that Choices & Changes is meeting its short-run objective of producing cognitive understanding of economic concepts and that the attitudes of at-risk students can be altered but may require additional intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • Grimes, Paul W., 1995. "Economic education for at-risk students: an evaluation of Choices & Changes," MPRA Paper 39885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39885

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Siegfried, John J & Fels, Rendigs, 1979. "Research on Teaching College Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 923-969, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jane S. Lopus, 2001. "An Evaluation of Choices and Changes : An Economics Program for At-risk Students," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 17(Fall 2001), pages 105-119.
    2. Grimes, Paul W. & Millea, Meghan J. & Campbell, Randall C., 2009. "The transition to market-based economic education: evaluating program effectiveness in Kazakhstan," MPRA Paper 39982, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Economic education; At-risk; K-12; Intervention; 2SLS;

    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


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