For this assignment, submit a thesis paragraph clearly describing your topic (be clear about what your question is) and how you intend to analyze it.
Where to Find a Topic and References
1. Class notes and textbooks from economics courses.
2. Ask instructors who teach courses in the area of the report.
3. Academic journals like the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Harvard Business Review, etc.
4. Non-academic periodicals like The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, Financial Times, etc.
5. I will include a series of links to some of the most popular references on my website.
I would recommend you make sure the topic has the following components.
1. A clearly defined question, in one sentence.
2. An idea of what model you will use to help analyze the question. (For example, if you asking why one currency fell relative to another you might use a model you saw in a class on monetary economics linking relative output to exchange rates).
3. An idea of what data you are going to use and where to get it.
Please note that survey papers are not acceptable. You must use theoretical and empirical analysis with data and present your own views and findings.
Possible topics for Writing Courses:
— Does pro-cyclical fiscal policy (reduced taxes in bad times, higher taxes in good times) reduce the
duration of recessions?
— Was the experience of NAFTA consistent with the Hecksher-Ohlin model?
— What made Ireland grow really fast for the last twenty years while Portugal did not?
— What is the effect of major public works (think building for the Olympics or World Cup) on
development (of the country or possibly of a city in the US)?
— How are male-female disparities related to growth rates?
— How do trends in family size and structure affect development? How are family size and structure
affected by development? What can account for this?
— How do different demographic trends impact growth?
— How does foreign aid impact developing countries?
— What were the impacts of a specific trade reform (e.g. NAFTA)? What does theory tell us the impacts
should be? Were the impacts consistent with theory?
— How has a certain technology impacted trade?
— How has a certain technology impacted different subsectors of a developing country? Who were the
winners and who were the losers in technological development?
— Analysis of any trade or development or labor theory with at least 20 years of data.
— Comparison of income inequalities in any two countries
— Education and its effects on development and growth in a country- or comparison
— Social Security benefits vs Pensions – – comparison across countries??
— Capital and TFP growth in countries- comparison
— Floating versus Fixed Exchange rates?
— International Capital mobility and its effects on financial markets (and financial crises)
— FDI and its contribution to economic growth
— Euro- challenges of a monetary union
— Which industries are becoming more geographically concentrated? Why is a particular industry
— Did the housing crisis halt suburbanization? Have preferences for home locations changed?
— Do older cities better match the predictions of the monocentric city model than younger cities?
This assignment has two parts:
A. For this assignment, each student is required to read and cite at least one academic economic publication, examples of which can be found below. (This academic economic article MUST be used and cited in the final report as well). The objective of this reading is for the student to become more familiar with the way economists write. Each student must submit the complete reference of the article read. Failure to do so will result in 5 points taken off the grade of the final report. Examples of academic economic publications are: The American Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamic and Control, Quarterly Journal of Economics, etc. (Publications such as the Economist or the Wall Street Journal do not qualify as academic publications but may be used as supplemental sources.)
B. You are required to submit a 2 to 3-page paper giving a clear outline of your project. It should contain:
1. The title of the report, your name, and ID number, as well as the date on which the report is turned in.
2. A clear introduction describing the topic you chose and the way you have decided to analyze it. The first sentence of your introduction should answer the question: what am I trying to show in this paper? Remember you are not writing a mystery novel, so try to be clear. The introduction sets the tone of the paper, and an effective introduction tells the reader what is going to happen in the paper.
3. A summary of the main points of your argument is needed. Try to limit yourself to 3 main points. Separate each point by having different sections. Feel free to make subsections whenever needed.
4. A brief discussion of what theory you will use to motivate your empirical analysis. Regression analysis is NOT theory; if you are interested in economic growth, for example, you will likely want to discuss the Solow model and its implications for your question.
5. A description of the data set that you would like to use as empirical evidence for your paper. NOTE: This means you must indicate the variables of interest, source of data (where are you getting them from) and years for which you can obtain the data.
6. A description of the empirical approach you will take: given the question you are analyzing write down the regression(s) you have in mind for analyzing the question.
7. A conclusion in which you restate the question you are analyzing, summarize the main points you have developed, and present the results you have drawn from that analysis.
8. A reference or bibliography section where you list the references you used to develop your arguments.
9. You may add an appendix if you have graphs or data or some mathematical derivation.
As before, be as clear and concise as possible. Present your main points as sharply as you can. Think carefully about the structure of your paper. Make sure your arguments are coherent.
– Outline Form
Note: This page is an ADDITION to the requirements for your outline. See the grading rubric on my website.
Introduction (parts 2,3 of rubric):
Model (part 4 of rubric):
Data (parts 5,6 of rubric):
Countries/variables, time period, sources –
Proposed regression analysis –
Economics Assignment #1, Topic For this assignment, submit a thesis paragraph clearly describing your topic (be clear about what your question is) and how […]