Using student transcripts from six institutions over a 23-year timespan, the authors investigate the movement of students into and out of the economics major. Considerable movement between majors occurs with 83 percent of economics graduates switching in after their first principles course. These eventual majors come from a variety of sources, but primarily from business, engineering, science & math. In an absolute sense, weaker students (as measured by cumulative GPA) switch into economics. However, students appear to move to disciplines of relative academic strength (as indicated by relative grades). While females from other majors are less likely to switch into economics, traditionally underrepresented minorities are largely attracted to economics from other disciplines at similar (or higher) rates to which they persist in originally declared majors.

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Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group. Article first published online: May 2019.

DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2019.1618763

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Full Citation:

Emerson, Tisha L. N. and KimMarie McGoldrick. "Switching Majors – Into and Out of Economics." The Journal of Economic Education 50, no. 3 (2019): 321-332.

Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2021