Barriers and Incentives to Learning Economics
Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Hyatt Regency Chicago, Randolph 1
- Chair: Kim Holder, University of West Georgia
A Cross-National Comparison of Gender Effects Among Higher Education Students in Germany, Japan and the United States
AbstractAcross various domains differences in gender specific responding to standardized test items are<br /><br /><br />
frequently detected. Even in assessments of economic knowledge, male participants often score<br /><br /><br />
higher than female participants. This recurring finding has stirred controversial discussions. While<br /><br /><br />
some researchers suggest that gender differences in economics assessment might be due to the use<br /><br /><br />
of standardized testing formats, others believe that gender differences might depend on specific<br /><br /><br />
features of economic knowledge (e.g. economic numeracy vs. economic literacy) (Brückner, Förster,<br /><br /><br />
Troitschanskaia & Walstad 2015). However, most studies on gender effects in assessments of<br /><br /><br />
economic knowledge have focused on secondary education in a specific country. Thus, in the present<br /><br /><br />
study, we analyze gender effects on economic knowledge between countries: Germany, Japan, and<br /><br /><br />
the United States. The data was gathered using the standardized U.S. Test of Understanding in<br /><br /><br />
College Economics (TUCE, Walstad & Rebeck 2008), which was also adapted and used in assessments<br /><br /><br />
in Germany and Japan.<br /><br /><br />
In our presentation, we start with a brief overview of previous research on gender effects on<br /><br /><br />
economic knowledge in those countries as well as potential explanations for gender effects on economic knowledge. Afterwards the assessment instrument and the samples from the three<br /><br /><br />
countries will be described and the results from the empirical analyses based on Item Response<br /><br /><br />
Theory (IRT) will be presented. Our analyses will also include some results on the differences of<br /><br /><br />
gender effects between numeracy and literacy tasks of this test. We close by critically discussing the<br /><br /><br />
results and identifying need for further research.
What is the Value of an Economics Degree?
AbstractI examine labor market outcomes of graduates from an undergraduate program in economics at a large public university in the Midwest in the United States. In this program, a natural experiment provided the conditions where academically weaker business major students became economics majors by default. Aggregated employment data from the State of Minnesota’s Graduates Employment Outcomes (hourly earnings) for six cohorts (AY 2006-2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) are compared across majors and of programs from public institutions of higher education in Minnesota. Preliminary inferences based on known characteristics of reference group and outcome criteria suggest that an economics degree can improve median hourly earnings of graduates within two to four years from graduation.
An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Quizzes on Student Effort and Learning Outcomes: Comparisons of Unannounced-Quiz, Announced-Quiz, and No-Quiz
AbstractWe developed empirical models to test hypotheses that quizzes (announced or
unannounced) can improve students’ learning outcomes and enhance their investment in effort.
The empirical analysis indicated support for the hypotheses. We further tested the hypothesis that
these two different types of quizzes exert different effective instructional influences on students’
learning. Consequently, evidence from an alternative demonstration indicated that these two
types of quizzes could serve different effective instructional purposes in students’ learning.
Moreover, additional findings showed that quizzes not only provide a shorter-term learning goal
– exam success – but also offer benefits for a longer-term learning goal – retaining information
University of Delaware
University of West Georgia
University of Mainz
- A2 - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
- D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics