Are Business and Economics Alike?

Carmen Aina*, Chiara Mussida, Gabriele Lombardi

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using administrative data on the entire Italian population of students at their first enrolment in the tertiary system during the academic years 2008-2014, we investigate the major choice process and the subsequent behaviour after the first academic year, namely university persistence, switching major or dropout, of students enrolled in two majors perceived as similar, that are Economics and Business. We investigate the two sequential stages separately for the universes of Economics and Business students. Our main findings suggest that on average, well-prepared students are more likely to switch major than dropout. Moreover, a better student intake at degree level entails a progressive reduction in dropout rates. Likewise, a peer group more homogeneous in terms of academic grades has a higher propensity to stay in the initial major, whereas a student cohort characterised by high competitiveness, proxied by the number of credits achieved, is less persistent, especially once enrolled in Economics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-585
Number of pages29
JournalItalian Economic Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Dropout
  • Major choice
  • Major switching
  • Peers similar to measures
  • University persistence


Dive into the research topics of 'Are Business and Economics Alike?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this