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Factors that influence choice of major: why some students never consider economics

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Purpose ‐ In the fall of 1996, Walstad suggested that the economics profession needed to obtain the students' perspective on the choice of major. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that influence the choice of major. Design/methodology/approach ‐ To recruit majors and to address Walstad's concern, economics and non-economics majors were surveyed to determine which factors they consider important when choosing a major and to better understand why some students never consider economics. Findings ‐ The results suggest that interest in the subject, expected marketability, performance in major classes, and the approachability and teaching reputation of the faculty are influential to the choice of major. Originality/value ‐ The results may help the profession address enrollment issues, including the disproportionate number of women in the major.
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Keywords: Economics; Education

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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