The Unequal Distribution of Economic Education: A Report on the Race, Ethnicity, and Gender of Economics Majors at Us Colleges and Universities

50 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Amanda Bayer

Amanda Bayer

Swarthmore College

David W. Wilcox

Federal Reserve Board - Division of Research and Statistics

Date Written: 2017-10-19

Abstract

The distribution of economic education among US college graduates is quite unequal: female and underrepresented minority undergraduates, collectively, major in economics at 0.36 the rate that white, non-Hispanic male students do. This paper makes a four-part contribution to address this imbalance. First and foremost, we provide detailed comparative data at the institution level to provoke and inform the attention of economists and senior administrators at colleges and universities, among others. Second, we establish a definition of full inclusion in economic education on college and university campuses and use that definition to evaluate the status quo and to compare institutions. Third, we illuminate the reasons why the need to improve the distribution of economic education is urgent, including the imperative to support economic policymaking. Lastly, we point the way forward, identifying both currently available resources and reasonable next steps for all involved parties to take.

Keywords: Education, Ethnicity, Race

Suggested Citation

Bayer, Amanda and Wilcox, David W., The Unequal Distribution of Economic Education: A Report on the Race, Ethnicity, and Gender of Economics Majors at Us Colleges and Universities (2017-10-19). FEDS Working Paper No. 2017-105. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3056933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2017.105

Amanda Bayer (Contact Author)

Swarthmore College ( email )

500 College Ave
Swarthmore, PA 19081
United States

David W. Wilcox

Federal Reserve Board - Division of Research and Statistics ( email )

20th and C Streets, NW
Mailstop 153
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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