Does administrative location of an academic department affect educational emphasis? The case of economics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study questions whether administrative location of an academic department influences the qualitative nature of its educational output, as measured by the distribution of field choices among graduating students. To address this question, the author recorded curriculum vitae data on 661 economics PhD candidates, all of whom were on the Spring 2008 job market. The five probit regression models considered reveal that a candidate's choice of primary field is significantly dependent upon gender, undergraduate major(s), rank of PhD programme and whether the candidate earned his or her undergraduate degree in a primarily English-speaking country. However, in no regression does administrative location of economics department (whether in a business school or a school that houses other social sciences) have a significant effect upon candidate choice of primary field. This statistical result provides strong case evidence that the qualitative nature of educational output within an academic department is independent of administrative location within the university body. School administrators do not appear to distort the subject of economics in accordance with school-level objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Administrative location
  • Educational emphasis
  • University administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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