Determinants of Student Performance and Proficiencies in Economics
Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Jens Schubert, University of Delaware
The Role of Commitment on Effort Provision and Learning Outcomes
AbstractWe study the role of commitment contracts in a multi-stage educational field experiment. In the first stage, we elicit students' time preferences in an incentive-compatible dynamic real effort task. In the second stage, we offer students a commitment contract designed to help students overcome their present bias to successfully prepare for academic examinations. Our commitment contract gives students the option to stake their previously earned points should they fail to meet their weekly study goals. Our analysis contrasts students' effort provision and their exam performance between the commitment treatment, control, and two alternative treatments where students either gain or lose points for meeting or failing to meet, respectively, a weekly study goal set by the instructor. We find that few students select the commitment contract, and further that the gain and loss treatments are more powerful than merely offering the commitment device in mitigating the lack of consistent study effort.
Failure, Withdrawals and Retakes in Intermediate Microeconomics
AbstractUsing student transcript data from eight institutions over a 23-year timespan, we investigate enrollments in intermediate microeconomics courses to determine characteristics of successful and unsuccessful students. We then follow the unsuccessful students in order to identify characteristics of students who retake the course and their likelihood of success in a second attempt. We find that aptitude is a strong predictor of success, that underrepresented minorities are less likely to be successful, and that there are no significant differences in likelihood of success by sex. For those students who are not successful in their first attempt at intermediate micro theory, students who have taken intermediate macro theory are more likely to retake micro theory whereas females are less likely to retake. The strongest determinant of success in a retaken micro theory course is the student’s cumulative GPA. We find no evidence that course background, gender or race/ethnicity have a significant impact on performance in the retaken course.
Surveying Hansen’s Data-Related Proficiencies of Undergraduate Economics Students
- A2 - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics