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Liberal Arts or Business: Does the Location of the Economics Department Alter the Major?

David H. Dean and Robert C. Dolan
The Journal of Economic Education
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 18-35
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/1183211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1183211
Page Count: 18
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Liberal Arts or Business: Does the Location of the Economics Department Alter the Major?
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Abstract

The authors examine whether the administrative location of an economics department in a business versus liberal arts school alters the character of the economics program provided to undergraduate majors. To test this hypothesis, they constructed a curricular character index (CCI) based on a detailed accounting of assorted dimensions of an economics major. The CCI served as the dependent variable in a regression model that controlled for other institutional attributes that could influence curricular character. The sample of 148 primarily undergraduate institutions was selected to impose some semblance of a "ceteris paribus" environment. Contrary to earlier findings, the empirical results strongly indicate that the administrative location of an economics department in business versus liberal arts schools significantly changes the character of the program offered to majors.

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