What Influence Does Mathematics Preparation Have on Performance in First Economics Classes?
29 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2007
Date Written: February 2, 2007
Using data from a Midwestern university, the authors examine whether math preparation, as measured by the level of math preparation entrance exam for freshmen students and subsequent score on the exam, are associated with performance in one's first economics course. The results indicate that the type of exam is related to the grade received in economics, and that higher level math preparation from high school leads to higher probabilities of receiving As and Bs in the economics courses. The score on the preparation exam, however, does not have any relationship with the economics grade. When a control for college calculus or trigonometry was added to the model, the related coefficient was also statistically significant, but when grades in math classes were added, the coefficients on the calculus/trig course and the grades were not significant. The authors conclude that mathematical maturity may be the relevant causal factor in one's first economic course performance.
JEL Classification: A22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation