Foreign Student Share and Supply of STEM-Designated Economics Programs
20 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2023 Last revised: 3 Jan 2024
Date Written: December 15, 2023
Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of U.S. departments offering STEM-eligible degree programs in economics. I document this trend of STEM-degree offerings across degree levels and examine the share of foreign students and other characteristics of departments that offer STEM-eligible programs. Using difference-in-differences and tobit regression models, I find that departments with a proportion of foreign students above the median are 6 and 8 percentage points more likely to offer a STEM-eligible degree program at the bachelor's and master's levels, respectively, compared to departments below the median. Additionally, graduate programs are more likely to offer STEM-economics programs earlier than undergraduate programs, potentially due to their strong quantitative foundation and large shares of international students. Also, early adopters of STEM-eligible programs are associated with private institutions and doctoral and research institutions. Including general economics to the STEM-eligible list at the graduate level could potentially reduce the administrative burden on departments.
Keywords: STEM, economics major, international students, higher education
JEL Classification: I21, I23, A22, A23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation