How Important are Introductory Subjects in Advanced Economics Studies?


  • The authors acknowledge the invaluable discussions and comments by Professor B. Bhaskara (Bill) Rao and Professor John Lodewijks on the paper. The responsibility for the opinions expressed and any errors in this paper rest solely with the authors.

Dr Mamta B. Chowdhury, School of Economics and Finance, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 2751, Australia. Email:


This paper investigates the impact of student performance in introductory economics and quantitative subjects on higher-level economics subjects. A multi-year data set with detailed performance scores from a major multi-campus Australian university is used for this study. Employing ordinary least squares and quantile regression, the results of the study reveal that performance in introductory macroeconomics and quantitative subjects significantly influences students’ performance in advanced-level economics subject. The policy implication recommends adequate prior knowledge and competency for students entering into tertiary education to progress well in higher-level economics studies. This strategy may assist in achieving greater social inclusion and increased retention rates for university degrees.