Chicks Don't Dig it: Gender, Attitude and Performance in Principles of Economics Classes
37 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2006
Date Written: September 14, 2006
Women are less likely to major in economics than men. While this simple fact is well documented, the cause of this difference is still up for debate. Most previous research has focused on identifying causes through skill differences and pedagogical practices. Heretofore neglected is the role of students' attitudes towards economics. This work establishes that women and men have no performance differences in principles of economics courses, but that attitudes differ significantly. Furthermore, the finding that women have a significantly more negative attitude towards economics prior to taking the principles course is compounded by the results that indicate a polarization of attitudes after taking the course. In other words, women have more negative attitudes and men have more positive attitudes towards economics after taking the course. Women can do economics, but are less inclined to like it.
JEL Classification: A22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation