William E. Becker

William E. Becker
Indiana University Bloomington | IUB · Department of Economics

Ph.D. economics

About

163
Publications
17,079
Reads
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4,214
Citations
Citations since 2017
0 Research Items
922 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
Additional affiliations
August 1996 - present
University of South Australia
Position
  • Adjunct Professor of Commerce

Publications

Publications (163)
Article
Full-text available
Regression analysis using panel data for 42 colleges and universities over 14 years suggests that the economics faculty size of universities offering a Ph.D. in economics is determined primarily by the long-run average number of Ph.D. degrees awarded annually; the number of full-time faculty increases at almost a one-for-one pace as the average num...
Article
Introductory economics courses emphasize opportunity cost, comparative advantage, and specialization to show the benefits of trade. We assert that this emphasis leads to erroneous student mind-set that trade requires specialization based on comparative advantage. We test students who have been exposed to the typical textbook and classroom presentat...
Article
Full-text available
Michael Watts, Professor of Economics at Purdue University, died unexpectedly on December 5, 2014, at the age of 64 while on vacation in Antigua. His connection to the Journal of Economic Education is a long one. For 20 years, from 1988 through 2007, Mike served as the associate editor for JEE’s instruction section, which typically accounts for the...
Article
This Special Section represents a “first” for the JEE. In previous issues the “Communications” section has often included comments and criticisms of previously published articles, and authors of the original pieces have sometimes replied to these criticisms. Initially, the intention was to treat Becker's comment on Soper's article “Programmed Instr...
Article
This article should be a valuable follow-up of the debate on research techniques which appeared in the fall issue of this journal. Becker and Salemi report on an evaluation of an audiovisual tutorial package used in several two-year colleges, finding that the AVT experience had no differential effect on learning for the experimental group as a whol...
Article
The Joint Council on Economic Education's Developmental Economic Education Program (DEEP) has been subjected to evaluations, both on a nationwide basis and in terms of the effects of a given project in a local area. Usually, the results have been positive, but too few of the evaluations have employed rigorous statistical analysis. Furthermore, the...
Article
This article is the last in a three-part series on research methodology in economic education in which statistical methods for model estimation are presented. Emphasis is upon the estimation and classical hypotheses testing of economic learning-regression models which may involve systems of equations, collinear regressors, interactions, and distrib...
Article
Becker, the Journal's new editor for research, summarizes where the profession stands in its quest to understand how students learn economics and emphasizes the need for more adequate models to use in measurement and research. This is the first of several short articles on this topic.
Article
This article on research methodology in economic education is the second in a three-part series. The first, which appeared in the Winter 1983 issue of this Journal, focused on issues and questions economic education researchers should address. The present article provides suggestions for the development of theoretical models in which these issues a...
Article
Although the use of discrete choice models (particularly the probit model) is widely taught, it is the method rather than the interpretation of results that is emphasized. This article provides a graphical technique for interpretation that will be useful in statistics and econometrics courses.
Article
The quantity of research on economic education at the college and university level declined during the past decade. In the 1980-90 period, the number of research- related articles on economics instruction in higher education fell by about 17 percent from the number published during the 1969-79 period. A possible reason for this reduction may have b...
Article
The authors provide a review of some of the more notable experiences they have had editing an academic journal and dealing with other editors of journals and books over the past thirty-five years. They address the use of the English language, poor scholarship, the refereeing process and the possible demise of economic education as a scholarly activ...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a national survey of department Chairs to investigate whether departments of economics changed course requirements for bachelors degrees since the Siegfried and Bidani (1992) paper using 1980 data. There have been few changes to course requirements. Most notable are a large increase in the number of departments requiring econometrics a...
Chapter
We provide a review of the ways in which the concept of markets has been – and could be – applied to higher education. We contrast the ways in which the market idea has been applied to higher education by policymakers and academics in general with the economist’s textbook definition and perspective on markets as they apply to profit-making firms. W...
Article
We identify factors related to instructors’ choice of assessment methods in undergraduate economics courses, using national survey data collected in 1995, 2000, and 2005. Respondents were asked to indicate which of 10 different assessment methods they used in four different types of courses (principles, intermediate theory, econometrics and statist...
Article
Over 20 years ago, the late William Zahka (1990, 1998) outlined how the acceptance speeches of those who received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science could be used to teach undergraduates. This article updates and expands Zahka's work, identifying some of the issues discussed by recent Nobel Laureates, classifying their speeches by topic a...
Article
Using survey data collected in 1995, 2000 and 2005 from US academic economists, in which respondents were asked to indicate what percentage of their work time they allocate to research, teaching and service activities, and also how their departments and schools weight research, teaching and service in determining annual raises and making promotion...
Article
The authors analyze the various factors that highly recognized economists cite as reasons for pursuing a career in economics. We obtained data for 62 of the 67 Nobel Laureates in economics and included another 22 prominent economists who have made significant contributions in economic research. Our basic quest was to find how these economists first...
Article
Survey data from PhD-granting economics departments are used to assess the teaching preparation of graduate students in economics. The results show that relatively few departments require graduate student instructors to take a credit course in teaching before teaching their own course or leading a recitation section. Although more graduate student...
Article
Full-text available
Random effects estimates using panel data for 42 colleges and universities over 16 years reveal that the economics faculty size of universities offering a Ph.D. in economics is determined primarily by the long-run average number of Ph.D. degrees awarded annually; the number of full-time faculty increases at almost a one-for-one pace as the average...
Article
Full-text available
Higher education, like any other commodity or service, has been viewed in a variety of economic frameworks. Little of this work, however, appears to have made any effort to define carefully the boundaries of the relevant market for higher education, which is the subject of this particular inquiry. Market definition is an essential preliminary step...
Article
Full-text available
In 1995, 2000, and 2005, the authors surveyed U.S. academic economists to investigate how economics is taught in four different types of undergraduate courses at postsecondary institutions. They especially looked for any changes in teaching methods that occurred over this decade, when there were several prominent calls for economists and postsecond...
Article
Full-text available
PROFESSORS WHO INCLUDE THEIR STUDENTS as subjects in classroom-based research projects typically must submit to a review by their university's research ethics committee (REC) even in cases which present only minimal risks, and when the investigation is intended for evaluation of teaching approaches only, and not for publication. Results of a web-ba...
Article
Full-text available
As with other sciences, the author argues that there are no unquestionable ideas in economics, and attempts to impose "No Child Left Behind" K-12 type "technical standards" in universities will turn higher education in economics into remedial education. Students need to learn that the very nature of a science is to have unresolved topics and an on-...
Article
This paper presents the results of an Internet-based survey of economic educators who were asked about their knowledge and experience with human subjects research and the mandated federal protocols that govern such research at most American universities. The results indicate that while economic education researchers are experienced in conducting hu...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract This paper presents the results of an Internet-based survey of economic,educators who were asked about their knowledge,and experience with human,subjects research and the mandated,federal protocols that govern such research at most American universities. The results indicate that while economic,education researchers are experienced in cond...
Article
An extensive literature in education shows little relationship between teaching and research. Authors advance the notion that research enhances teaching, but they typically ignore the prospect of teaching enhancing research. We report the results of a survey of active researchers in economics who were asked if they could cite a specific instance in...
Article
An extensive literature in education shows little relationship between teaching and research. Authors advance the notion that research enhances teaching, but they typically ignore the prospect of teaching enhancing research. We report the results of a survey of active researchers in economics who were asked if they could cite a specific instance in...
Conference Paper
The authors show how the work of Nobel Laureates in economics can enhance student understanding and bring them up to date on topics such as probability, uncertainty and decision theory, hypothesis testing, regression to the mean, instrumental variable techniques, discrete choice modeling, and time-series analysis.
Article
This paper presents a methodology to aggregate multidimensional research output. Using a tailored version of the non-parametric Data Envelopment Analysis model, we account for the large heterogeneity in research output and the individual researcher preferences by endogenously weighting the various output dimensions. The approach offers three import...
Article
The authors show how the work of Nobel Laureates in economics can enhance student understanding and bring them up to date on topics such as probability, uncertainty and decision theory, hypothesis testing, regression to the mean, instrumental variable techniques, discrete choice modeling, and time-series analysis.
Article
In 1995, 2000, and 2005 the authors surveyed U.S. academic economists in the United States to investigate how economics is taught in four different types of undergraduate courses at postsecondary institutions. They looked for any changes in teaching methods that occurred over this decade, when there were several prominent calls for economists and p...
Article
Throughout the world, economists have observed student lack of interest in pursuing the study of economics. In response, there has been an increase in academic economists' interest in their teaching, but that does not necessarily imply that they have figured out what is required for good teaching or what should be taught. In this article, I again a...
Article
The author addresses what is versus what should be taught in economics at the tertiary level and the way economics is taught versus how it should be taught. He argues that we need to assist students in recognizing the shortcomings of simplistic analyses of old before students rightly dismiss them as irrelevant and then wrongly dismiss all of econom...
Article
Full-text available
How much time do academic economists allocate to teaching, research, and service, and how much time do their departments want them to allocate to these pursuits? As a result of the decline in economics majors in the early 1990s, was there a change in the reward system and time allocation of academic economists toward teaching? In this study, the au...
Article
The author addresses what is versus what should be taught in economics at the tertiary level and the way economics is taught versus how it should be taught. He argues that we need to assist students in recognizing the shortcomings of simplistic analyses of old before students rightly dismiss them as irrelevant and then wrongly dismiss all of econom...
Article
A sample selection statistical procedure is used to correct for the effects on salary of gender bias in promotion from associate to full professor.
Article
Full-text available
Graduate students are employed extensively in the teaching of economics at the undergraduate level, but little is known about how they are used for instruction and how they are prepared for their teaching duties. To investigate this topic, we prepared a survey and sent it to the chairs of all 100 Ph.D.-granting economics departments. The survey was...
Article
There are always excuses for not trying something new. Innovations in the science of economics are not making their way into the teaching of economics at the undergraduate level; yet, there are many classroom activities that can be used to bring cutting edge economics into undergraduate teaching. Some of those activates are identified.
Article
Economics is sexy: or it could be, if academic economists would recognize that the discipline has progressed beyond the 100-year-old version they learned - and if they would change their teaching accordingly to get students engaged in ideas that are at the forefront of the science. Our job as teachers is to provide those ideas and examples that dem...
Article
The recent literature on stock markets has used modern time series techniques such as cointegration and causality to identify macroeconomic variables that cause stock index movements. But this type of investigation has to a large extent remained confined to markets belonging to well developed and diversified economies. Motivated by the lack of set-...
Article
Class size is of particular interest to education researchers and administrators because it is one of the few variables that administrators can change from term to term. In studies of class size, however, little if any attention is given to the consequence of missing student records that result from “data cleaning” done by those collecting the data...
Article
In 1995 and 2000, the authors surveyed academic economists in the United States to establish how economics is taught in four types of undergraduate courses. The authors report overall findings from the 2000 survey and compare these results with the aggregate findings for respondents from all types of colleges and universities in the 1995 survey. Th...
Article
Full-text available
In 1995 and 2000, the authors surveyed academic economists in the United States to establish how economics is taught in four types of undergraduate courses. The authors report overall findings from the 2000 survey and compare these results with the aggregate findings for respondents from all types of colleges and universities in the 1995 survey. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Traditionally econometrics and economics statistics have been taught in the theory and proof, chalk and talk mode commonly found in the teaching of mathematics. We advance the use of computer technology in the teaching of quantitative methods to get students actively engaged in the learning process. We also assert that the essential tasks for those...
Article
The desire to reverse a downward trend in the number of undergraduates majoring in economics is an impetus to advance the scholarship of teaching economics as we enter the 21st century. This article offers suggestions for changing the concepts taught and the applications used in college and university economics courses within the United States. It...
Article
In this section, the Jo u rnal of Economic Educat i o n p u blishes survey art i cl e s, i n t e rn ational and institutional compari s o n s, and analytical studies on the economics
Article
Based on results from a 1999 national survey, William Becker and Michael Watts found that student evaluations of teaching were by far the most widely used, and often the only method used by economics departments, to evaluate teaching in undergraduate economics courses. To investigate whether departments of economics have moved beyond the use of stu...
Article
Full-text available
Based on results from a 1999 national survey, William Becker and Michael Watts found that student evaluations of teaching were by far the most widely used, and often the only method used by economics departments, to evaluate teaching in undergraduate economics courses. To investigate whether departments of economics have moved beyond the use of stu...
Article
Efficiency considerations have led to increased use of multiple-choice questions to assess economics understanding at the secondary and tertiary levels throughout Australia. A multiple-choice test would suffice if multiple-choice and essay questions measure the same dimensions of knowledge, as suggested by least squares estimation of the relationsh...
Article
Probit analysis is used to investigate factors that affect instructors' choices of teaching methodologies in introductory economics. The results show that instructor gender, percent of work time devoted to teaching, and the school's Carnegie classification are important determinants. Also, although class size is not an important determinant in the...
Article
Peer assessment ratings of graduate programs have been both highly cited and criticized as measures of program quality. This study analyzes factors that affect peer assessments of faculty quality and program effectiveness from the 1993 survey by the National Research Council. We found that the determinants for faculty quality and program effectiven...
Article
The author suggests that the claims of advocates of centralized standards and universal testing of U. S. schools must be questioned and that alternatives to testing should be considered for the educational output of schools.
Article
Economists are singled out for their lack of interest in teaching. Yet, in teaching economics to undergraduates, the work of some economists is innovative and recognized, although not necessarily appreciated by those who are missing the current realities in higher education. This article presents evidence on the teaching and learning of economics a...
Article
In the assessment of damages for sex discrimination suits, most of the debate between plaintiffs and defendants concerns the type and number of variables to include in a single equation model of the salary determination process. Even within a restrictive single equation framework there are alternative methods available for calculating damages, and...
Article
Lectures have long been the dominant pedagogical approach in undergraduate economics courses but they are certainly no longer the exclusive approach. Much of the recent soul-searching in the discipline, dealing with the desirable characteristics of economics programs and their graduates, has largely ignored the issue of promoting the use of innovat...
Article
A paradox is emerging in American higher education. On one hand, the popular image of colleges and universities portrays those institutions as engaged primarily in teaching the skills necessary for social and economic advancement in our society. That image has always been the cornerstone of popular support of American higher education, and it shows...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple-choice and essay tests are the typical test formats used to measure student understanding of economics in college courses. Each type has its features. A multiple- choice (or fixed-response) format allows for a wider sampling of the content because more questions can be given in a testing period. Multiple-choice tests also offer greater eff...
Chapter
One often-stated goal for economic education is to help people “think like economists.”1 But what does that mean? Economists obviously do not think alike on all economic issues. Sometimes dissension arises from different schools of economic thought, methods of analysis, or personal differences on normative goals; but sometimes there is general cons...
Chapter
Over twenty years ago Nobel laureate George Stigler (1970) argued that “economics belongs in everyone’s education once we have learned how to teach it.” Because the logic of economics is not easy to learn or teach, he concluded that “Economics is not yet ready to be made a part of the basic curriculum of all educated men” (p. 80). Judging from the...

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Projects (2)
Archived project
Project
To Improve the analysis in applied fields.