Publication Details

This article originally published as Alauddin, M., Valadkhani, A., Causes and Implications of the Decline of the Economics Majors: A Focus on Australia, Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 7(2), 2003, 68-90.


This paper analyses the causes and implications of declining economics major in Australia. Based on a brief review of the relevant literature and an analysis of the Australian time series data, it is found that economics continues to be less attractive to students in relative terms. Three major factors contribute to this phenomenon: less than appropriate product for an increasingly diverse clientele, the introduction of more attractive and business, commerce and industry-oriented programs such as finance, accounting and commerce, and business majors geared to the needs of the real world, and the use of less experienced teaching staff in lower undergraduate courses. It is argued that stemming the tide against the economics discipline would require a significant rethink of development of products more vocational and real world-oriented, market segmentation for different clientele types, and marshalling of more experienced and capable teaching staff for lower undergraduate levels.