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ERIC Number: EJ936574
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
It's about Time: What to Make of Reported Declines in How Much College Students Study
McCormick, Alexander C.
Liberal Education, v97 n1 p30-39 Win 2011
Economists Philip Babcock and Mindy Marks recently assembled time-series survey data on college student time use from a number of sources spanning four decades. Their study, titled "The Falling Time Cost of College: Evidence from a Half Century of Time Use Data," will appear in a forthcoming issue of the "Review of Economics and Statistics." While the journal article discusses the implications of diminished study time for understanding trends in the economic return to baccalaureate education and in human capital investment, the authors summarized their findings in the more sensationally titled "Leisure College, USA: The Decline in Student Study Time" published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (Babcock and Marks 2010). As both titles indicate, they found evidence of a pronounced decline in the number of hours that full-time college students say they study, from about twenty-four hours per week in 1961 to fourteen hours per week in 2003. Although Babcock and Marks examined change in study time over three time periods (1961 to 1981; 1987, 1988, and 1989 to 2003, 2004, and 2005; and 1961 to 2003), the author focuses attention in this article on the long-term change from 1961 to 2003, which is also the focus of the AEI article. Babcock and Marks devote a portion of each article to identifying and addressing factors that might account for the apparent drop in study time. The author briefly summarizes these and the evidence marshaled to dismiss them. Next, he considers some possible explanations for the decline advanced by the researchers, adding some of his own to the list. He concludes with a discussion of what one is to make of these findings. (Contains 3 tables and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States