How does UM-Dearborn Economics Compare to Other Institutions in Terms of Inclusion and Economic Mobility?

July 13, 2020

Prof. Antonios Koumpias asked himself the research question: How does the UM-Dearborn Economics major compare to Economics majors in other U.S. schools in terms of diversity and inclusion? The short answer; very well!

Prof. Antonios Koumpias asked himself the research question: How does the UM-Dearborn Economics major compare to Economics majors in other U.S. schools in terms of diversity and inclusion? The short answer; very well! In fact, UM-Dearborn’s Economics major ranks in the top 16% (84th percentile) of all U.S. higher education institutions in terms of economic education inclusion as measured by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York[1]

He and Prof. Pat Smith also analyzed data on the economic mobility of economics graduates in Southeast Michigan to see how well our majors fare out in the “real world.”  They use data provided by Raj Chetty and his colleagues on a social “mobility report card” for each university in the U.S. based on access to education for the lowest-income students and successful labor outcomes defined as reaching the top of the income distribution. Each institution’s mobility rate is the product of access, the fraction of its students who come from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, and its success rate, the fraction of such students who reach the top fifth of the income distribution.  These data are freely available at Opportunity Insights Mobility Cards.  The data on UM-Dearborn in particular are also publicly available at The New York Times division called The Upshot. Professors Koumpias and Smith find that UM-Dearborn ranks 4th in graduates’ income mobility among the 26 higher education institutions in southeast Michigan.  UM-Flint and UM-Ann Arbor rank 8th and 9threspectively.

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[1] The Economic Education Inclusion Index (EEII) is calculated as the unweighted average of underrepresented groups' rates of majoring in economics relative to the rate at which white men major in economics:

EEII = 100 * average (WFrate, BFrate, BMrate, HFrate, HMrate) / WMrate

where WFrate, BFrate, BMrate, HFrate, HMrate, and WMrate are the rates at which white women, black women, black men, Hispanic women, Hispanic men, and white men, respectively, major in economics. Native American student rates were not included in the EEII because significant noise is introduced to the measure when a demographic group has only a small number of members across all bachelor degrees. We choose (non-Hispanic) white men as the reference group because they make up the largest number of PhD economists in the United States and because their rate offers a consistent measure of the scale of the economics major at each school.

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