This paper investigates the contribution of gender, high school economics classes, and the student's maturity, major and natural ability to the level of economic understanding and learning. The level of economic understanding was measured using pre-and post-test scores on a 40-question multiple choice exam (given at the beginning and end of the semester); the amount of economic learning was measured using the difference between pre- and post-test scores. Results suggest that students with economics in high school enter the college level introductory economics course with a significantly higher level of economic understanding, but the initial benefit diminishes over time. Additionally, the results suggest that gender differences in the level of economic understanding and learning are not as pronounced as previously reported in the literature. The results also indicate that the student=s major plays a significant role in the amount of economic learning while gender, natural ability, maturity, or having had high school economics do not.



economics, gender, high school economics, factors

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