Update your department webpage to share information and opportunities broadly.
We can address disparities in knowledge about economics and its value by offering better information on department websites. When faculty proactively offer information about the broad applicability of the major, more students from underrepresented groups study economics.
Post the following information and resources on your department webpage.
- The AEA video “A career in Economics… it’s much more than you think” (“Una Carrera en Economía…Es mucho más de lo que piensas”) can help dispel entrenched misconceptions about who economists are and what they do. See below for images, links, and texts to share on your webpage.
- Clearly outline the courses required for the economics major and possible schedules. Also clearly identify the courses and timing suggested for students who may ultimately be interested in applying to graduate school in economics. Help students get on that path early in their college years, while also providing onramps to students who have not followed the canonical path.
- Post information on careers and salaries possible with an economics major. Include information on options as a PhD economist as well as on the many other jobs and professions that rely on the skills of economics majors.
- Consult these sources and examples.
- Bayer, Hoover, and Washington (2020) find that “a lack of good information and good mentoring discouraged underrepresented minorities from careers in economics” and identify many inform actions economists can take to improve the numbers of and climate for minorities in economics.
Making academic and career information transparent and equally available to all students can help reduce the impact of biases against women and members of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. In an audit study in academia of more than 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities, Milkman, Akinola, and Chugh (2015) find that faculty are significantly more responsive to white male students than to all other categories of students when considering requests for advising meetings.
As stated in the AEA Best Practices for Economists, “Bayer, Bhanot, and Lozano (2019) report the results of a field experiment involving 2,710 students across nine U.S. colleges, in which faculty provided incoming women and URM students with information about economics. Sending just two emails, which linked to AEA pages showing students the diversity of research topics and researchers within economics, increased the likelihood of their completing an economics course in the first semester of college by 3.0 percentage points, nearly 20 percent of the base rate. The effects were particularly large for first-generation college students. Fricke, Grogger, and Steinmayr (2018) similarly show that exposure to the breadth of economics can influence students’ choices of academic major. Exploiting a natural experiment at a university at which first-year undergraduates are quasi-randomly assigned to write a research paper in economics, they find that the experience increases the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points and that ‘the effect is driven by assignment to topics less typical of the public’s perception of the field of economics.’”
AEA video on careers in economics
Here are images, links, and texts to share on your webpage. The AEA remains the author and copyright owner of the video, content, and all footage and has sole discretion on distribution.
Economics…it’s much more than you think.
Much more than finance, banking, business and government, a degree in economics is useful to all individuals and can lead to many interesting career choices. These four individuals with diverse interests and backgrounds offer their insights on how a background in economics can be a tool for solving very human problems.
- Marcella Alsan, a physician of infectious disease, discusses why she needed to pursue a degree in economics to improve the lives of her patients.
- Randall Lewis, a research scientist at Google, uses economics and “big data” as tools to improve the functioning of markets.
- Britni Wilcher, a PhD student of economics, offers insight on some misconceptions about economists and factors influencing her career path decision.
- Peter Henry, dean at the NYU Stern School of Business, points to the true nature of economics and the importance of diverse voices informing the field.
Economía… Es mucho más de lo que piensas
Mucho más que finanzas, bancos, empresas y gobiernos, un título en economía es útil para todas las personas y te puede guiar a muchas oportunidades muy interesantes. Estos cuatro diversos individuos nos entregan su visión acerca de como una formación en economía puede ser una herramienta para solucionar problemas intrínsecamente humanos.
- Marcella Alsan, una doctora especializada en enfermedades contagiosas, nos explica por qué necesitó obtener un título en economía para mejorar la vida de sus pacientes.
- Randall Lewis, investigado científico en Google, usa economía y “big data” como herramienta para mejorar el funcionamiento de los mercados.
- Britni Wilcher, una alumna de doctorado en economía, ofrece su perspectiva sobre las percepciones que la gente tiene de los economistas y los factores que influyeron su decisión de carrera.
- Peter Henry, decano de NYU Stern School of Business, apunta a la verdadera naturaleza de la economía y de la importancia de distintas opiniones alimentando la disciplina.