Thursday, April 22, 2010

The study of undergraduate Economics in Mexico: recent trends

According to international studies[1], undergraduate degrees awarded in Economics have declined significantly in diverse countries from 1990 to 1999. Siegfried and Round (2001) documented such declines in Australia, Canada, United States and Germany in the last decade. The authors tested various hypotheses, for instance, trends in GDP grow, the salience of economic crises, labor market expectations, academic rigor and mathematical requirements, and the increasing popularity of “substitute disciplines” (Finance, Business Administration, and International Affairs, among others). Apparently, the variables that better predict such declines in the aforementioned countries are the increasing salience of “substitute disciplines”, as well as the increased academic rigor and mathematics requirements in the study of Economics.

Based on official data, the declining trend in the study of Economics is also present in Mexico. Even though statistics show that first year enrollment in Economics has increased 17% -from 22,644 students in 2000 to 26,475 students in 2010-, total higher education enrollment has increased 54% in the same period; hence, enrollment in Economics has grown only a third relative to the growth of total enrollment in Mexican universities. As a consequence, the percentage of Economic students relative to total enrollment in higher education has diminished significantly in the last nine years. In 2000, around 1.3% of all undergraduate students in Mexican higher education were pursuing Economic degrees; by 2009 the share is 1 per cent. Moreover, in terms of degrees awarded, in 2000 the share was 1.4% of total undergraduate degrees; by 2009 the share was reduced to 0.8 per cent.

To put the above data in perspective, available data shows that in the decade from 1990 to 2000, in average, in the United States 2.2% of all undergraduate degrees awarded were in Economics. Meanwhile, in the decade from 1999 to 2009 in Mexico only 0.95% of all degrees awarded were in the field of Economics. In my view, the same hypotheses proposed by Siegfried and Round could be explored in Mexico in order to explain the decline. In Mexico -as in Australia, Canada, United States and Germany-, there has been a growing popularity of “substitute disciplines”, and the academic requirements and mathematical rigor of Economics has been also increasing. Nevertheless, specific studies are needed in order to see how the data fit the hypotheses.

[1] Siegfried, J. J. & Round, D. K. (2001) International Trends in Economic Degrees during the 1990´s. The Journal of Economic Education, Vol. 32, N0. 3, The Scholarship of Teaching Economics (Summer, 2001), pp. 203-218.

1 comment:

  1. Eco is the bass of any country but it's not easy to any One we need to learn by heard and soul Eco is depend On mind relaxation

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