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Causes and Implications of Declining Economics Major: A Focus on Australia

  • Alauddin, Mohammad
  • Valadkhani, Abbas

This paper analyses the causes and implications of declining economics major in Australia. Based on a brief review of the relevant literature and an analysis of the Australian time series data, it is found that economics continues to be less attractive to students in relative terms. Three major factors contribute to this phenomenon: less than appropriate product for an increasingly diverse clientele, the introduction of more attractive and business, commerce and industry-oriented programs such as finance, accounting and commerce, and business majors geared to the needs of the real world, and the use of less experienced teaching staff in lower undergraduate courses. It is argued that stemming the tide against the economics discipline would require a significant rethink of development of products more vocational and real world-oriented, market segmentation for different clientele types, and marshalling of more experienced and capable teaching staff for lower undergraduate levels.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/50393/1/MPRA_paper_50393.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 50393.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic and Social Policy 2.7(2003): pp. 68-90
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50393
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  1. Siegfried, John J & Wilkinson, James T, 1982. "The Economics Curriculum in the United States: 1980," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 125-38, May.
  2. William E. Becker, 2000. "Teaching Economics in the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 109-119, Winter.
  3. John J. Siegfried & David K. Round, 2001. "International Trends in Economics Degrees During the 1990s," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 203-218, January.
  4. Alex Millmow, 1995. "The Market For Economists In Australia," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 14(4), pages 83-96, December.
  5. Harry Bloch & Thorsten Stromback, 2002. "The Economics Of Strategy And The Strategy Of Economics," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 21(1), pages 1-10, 03.
  6. Alex Millmow, 2000. "The State We'Re In: University Economics 1989/1999," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 19(4), pages 43-51, December.
  7. Philip Lewis & Keith Norris, 1997. "Recent Changes In Economics Enrolments," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 16(1), pages 1-13, 03.
  8. Monica Keneley & Phil Hellier, 2001. "A Market Oriented Approach To Australian Undergraduate Economics Education: Justification And Explanation," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 20(2), pages 81-94, 06.
  9. John J. Siegfried, 1998. "Trends in Undergraduate Economics Degrees: A 1996--97 Update," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 285-288, September.
  10. Paul Azzalini & Sandra Hopkins, 2002. "What Business Students Think Of Economics: Results From A Survey Of Second Year Students," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 21(1), pages 11-17, 03.
  11. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
  12. Siegfried, John J & Round, David K, 1994. "The Australian Undergraduate Economics Degree: Results from a Survey of Students," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(209), pages 192-203, June.
  13. Mohammad Alauddin & Clem Tisdell, 2000. "Changing Academic Environment And Teaching Of Economics At The University Level: Some Critical Issues Analysed With The Help Of Microeconomics," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, 03.
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