The research project should be about 10 pages and should explain your data
collection, model, and findings. The project (due by the final exam date)
is worth 25% of your final grade. Below is a quick guide to doing
Guide to doing an empirical research (see also Ch. 11 in the PowerPoint
Step 1: Preliminary Decisions: Before you start on your computer work
and writing you need to decide upon a research area for your project. Most
students will likely focus on testing theories in economics and finance.
However, the topics are not constrained to these.
Step 2: Model formation and Literature review: Once you have picked a
topic you should do a literature search (google scholar is a good place to
start and so is the Journal of Economic Literature (available on line and in
the library) to see what others who have done work on this topic have found
and where they collected data. Based on this you should try to formulate a
specific (or set of) statistical models.
Step 3: Data Collection Again, most data sources (macroeconomic and
financial in particular) are available online. Students should have until
March 28 to have their topics approved and to indicate where their
data sources will be coming from. This needs to be done by in person
either during office hours or by scheduling an appointment.
Step 4: Computer Work Once you have gathered your data save them in
an e-views file. Please provide me (via e-mail) a copy of your data file
when you hand in your project. Estimate your regressions and test your
Step 5: Writing the Paper Show that you have understood and are able to
apply some of the statistical concepts covered in the class. The paper
should have the following parts:
a. State the problem you want to study (what question(s) are you
b. Explain why answering this question is important.
c. Include a brief literature review and explain how your project adds to
d. Explain the logic behind of your model, inclusion of variables,
statistical method used..etc.
e. State your expectations of the signs of the coefficients (specify the
hypothesis you would like to test with the data).
Reporting your results
f. Interpret your results.
g. Test hypotheses and report confidence intervals where appropriate.
h. Where appropriate use your estimated model for prediction
i. Check for violations of classical assumptions and other problems with
j. Summarize your findings and conclude by discussing what you would
do next to improve the reliability of your report.
Examples of paper topics:
Housing and Interest Rates
Unions and Wages
Minimum Wages and Unemployment
Climate and Economic Growth
Sports and the Demand for College
Auto Insurance Rates by State
Legalized Drugs and Crime
The Effect of Family Income on Grade Point Averages
Life expectancy across nations
What explains obesity rates?
Cross National differences in literacy
Auto Fatality Rates across States
Political Business Cycles
Income Inequality and Crime
Regression Analysis of Voter Turnout
Religion and Crime
Cigarette taxes and Smoking
Marriage and Productivity in Sports
Does financial aid raise college tuition?
Competitive Balance and Sports Demand
Is Divorce Counter-Cyclical?
Economic Patterns in Voting
Politics and the Stock Market
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