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The Social Issues Pedagogy vs. the Traditional Principles of Economics: An Empirical Examination


  • Paul W. Grimes

    (Mississippi State University)

  • Paul S. Nelson

    (Northeast Louisiana University)


Standardized test (TUCE) scores for students enrolled in a Social Issues course were compared to those of students in traditional Principles of Economics courses within the framework of a standard educational production function. The production function was estimated using Heckman's two-step procedure to correct for self-selection due to student attrition over the course of study. After controlling for student demographics, prior experiences, and academic aptitude, no significant test score differences were found between students in the Social Issues course and those in the Principles of Macroeconomics. However, Social Issues students were found to score significantly below students in the Principles of Microeconomics, ceteris paribus. The results also indicate that students had a higher probability of completion in the Social Issues course relative to a theory oriented Principles course.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul W. Grimes & Paul S. Nelson, 1995. "The Social Issues Pedagogy vs. the Traditional Principles of Economics: An Empirical Examination," GE, Growth, Math methods 9510001, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:9510001
    Note: Approximately 20 pages, ASCII file, includes tables, Appendix available upon request

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    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. 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. Geoffrey Schneider, 2011. "The Purpose, Structure and Content of the Principles of Economics Course," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 27 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Steven Dickey & Robert Houston Jr., 2009. "Disaggregating Education Production," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 37(2), pages 135-144, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate


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