GIRLS AND ECONOMICS: AN UNLIKELY COUPLING?

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Abstract

While total undergraduate enrolments at Australian universities are increasing, enrolments in Economics are falling—a source of alarm for economists. By appealing to females, economics could effectively tap into the largest sector (58%) of the undergraduate student population. This study suggests that gender is contributing to the falling enrolments. Males need the prospect of money to entice them to study more economics but females require a connection between studying economics and employment opportunities. Providing visible role models may be a practical step to encouraging more females to read economics. More concentration on ‘feminising economics’ in the undergraduate curricula could help women to believe that they have a contribution to make to the discipline.

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