Diversity in economics in Aotearoa New Zealand - NZIER Insight 110
February 1, 2024
The significance of diversity in economics cannot be overstated. Diversity in sex, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background and various dimensions enhances problem-solving and decision-making by introducing diverse perspectives, experiences and skills. This is important considering the diverse social groups that can be affected by government policies and the goal of achieving equitable well-being outcomes.
In this Insight, we explore the current landscape of university economics enrolment and diversity in Aotearoa, New Zealand using data from the IDI. Our analysis revealed an overall decline in university enrolment in economics over the past two decades, with diversity trends showing economics becoming increasingly male-dominated. This trend is accompanied by an increase in students from areas with lower levels of deprivation (which tend to be higher income) opting to study economics. While there is a slight rise in the percentage of Māori amongst economics students, their representation, along with Pacific students, remains notably below their representation within the broader university student population.