What econ majors think of their major

David Colander and co. give us a whole paper on this topic:

This data suggests that the presence of an unrestricted-entry business program has a positive impact on the satisfaction levels of economics majors. When such programs exist, the economics major is not forced to balance both the goals of students who would rather be in business programs with the goals of students who would study economics either way; therefore the economics major can more easily suit all of its students’ demands.

There are many more tidbits, including the following:

Students generally considered the majors more difficult at liberal arts schools than at state schools. The difference is most pronounced in economics, considered hard by 25.4% of state school students compared to 40.2% of students at liberal arts schools. At research liberal arts school, the major was considered even harder; 44.2% of students considered the economics major hard.

p.7 warmed my heart and p.11 gives the main reason for becoming an economics major: "I did well in early courses, and found it interesting."  That Smithian explanation is more important than the quest for job opportunities.  The paper is here.  Hat tip to Pluralist Economics Review.


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