Economics Ba's and Ph.D.'s from Liberal Arts Colleges: Do Degree Requirements or Faculty Scholarship Matter?
29 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2005
Date Written: January 25, 2005
We investigate how economics degree requirements and faculty scholarship at 106 elite liberal arts colleges in the United States are related to the percent of a college's students who major in economics and the percent of a college's graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in economics. We find that degree requirements are related to these educational outcomes in a natural way. Additional requirements tend to drive undergraduates away from the major, while imposing more technical requirements is associated with more graduates eventually earning a Ph.D. in economics. Faculty scholarship is positively related to the number of undergraduate majors, but only at the top 40 colleges. In terms of affecting Ph.D. creation, faculty scholarship has a positive effect but only at the top 40 colleges that do not offer an undergraduate business degree. In particular, a one standard deviation increase in faculty publications is associated with a department producing one more economics Ph.D. about once every four years.
JEL Classification: A22, A23, I21
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