Economics 3951: Major Project Seminar Assignment 5-Get Cheap Research Paper Help

Economics 3951: Major Project Seminar

Fall 2018

Jonathan Borowsky

Assignment 5 – Full Draft

Due date: 11:59PM on Sunday, March 31st

Submission Instructions: Save your written assignment in a Word document. Name your file

“FullDraft_YourName.docx”, substituting your own first and last name, for example

“FullDraft_JaneStudent.docx”. Back-up your assignment file on a second hard drive or flash drive.

Submit a copy of the assignment file on Canvas.

Assignment:

Write a full draft for your major project paper. The paper should consist of six sections:

• Introduction

• Literature Review

• Data

• Theory

• Estimation

• Results

Detailed Requirements for All Sections

Introduction

The main purpose of the introduction is to tell the reader what you research is about. The introduction

should do the following:

• State your research question.

• Explain why your research question is interesting. You may choose to briefly reference relevant

literature or facts or data in the course of arguing that your research question is interesting or

important, but you are not required to do so.

• Provide an overview of how your project will address the research question. The overview of

your project shouldnot be viewed as a “contract” for what you will actually do for your major

project. Rather, it should give a general statement of your current thinking on how you will

approach answering the research question with data.

What is most important is that it is easy for the reader to understand right from the beginning, precisely

what your proposed paper is about, that the ideas are organized into clear, well-structured paragraphs,

and that you “make a case” for why your project is worth doing.

As a rough guide, for a paper that is fourteen pages long, the introduction should be about two pages.

Literature Review

The main purpose of the literature review is to establish your credibility by showing the reader that you

have made an effort to learn about your subject. Your literature review should summarize existing

Cresearch that is closely related to your research question. For each paper you mention, you should r

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write 1-4 sentences stating what the paper does, and how it relates to your major project paper.

Your literature review should focus on two types of papers:

• Key papers, meaning credible and well-known papers, whether theoretical or empirical, on

subjects that are closely related to your research question.

• Empirical papers that are on subjects that are identical to or very similar to your proposed paper.

For some topics, the best way to show the reader that you are aware of the existing literature on the

subject will be a more in-depth engagement with one, two, or three key papers. For other topics, the

best way to do this will be to provide a broad overview that mentions a larger number of papers, but in

less detail. For the purposes of this course, there is no “hard and fast” rule for how many papers should

be in your literature review. However, at the very minimum, I want you to do a Google Scholar search

for existing research that is closely related to your question, and to write up a brief summary of what is

or isn’t out there.

The best literature reviews will explain what your paper’s main contributions are by comparing your

paper to what has already been done in the literature.

As a rough guide, for a paper that is fourteen pages long, the literature review should be about two

pages.

Data

The main purpose of the data section is to orient your reader to your data set so that they are able to

engage with the analysis. A secondary purpose is to document your data in detail so that a future

researcher could, in principle, reconstruct your data set.

The data section should give a detailed description of the data that you will use. The data section must,

it minimum, state your data source is with a degree of exactness that would allow your reader to track

down the specific database or data tables. For example, it would not be sufficient to say “I will use

World Bank Data,” you would want to say “I will use [variables] from the World Bank’s Global

Consumption Database.” Many of you will want to use data from more than one data source, for

example you may want to use a specialized database on a subject directly related to your topic, plus, for

example, data on demographics from the American Community Survey. If you are using proprietary

data, data that you plan on collecting yourself, or data that is otherwise not publicly available, you must

explain how you obtained access to or collected the data, or how you plan to do so.

The data section should be written in clear, professional prose with a sensible paragraph structure. You

must use your judgment about what information to include in your data section and how to structure it.

Some of the sort of things that you might choose to mention are:

• the “level” of observation – individual, city-level, state/province, country level

• the number of observations

• whether the data is based on a survey versus administrative data

• the time period covered by the data

• what variables are available

Your data section must include a table or tables of descriptive statistics for important variables in your

data-set. A descriptive statistics table should include at least the following information for each

variable: number of observations, mean, standard deviation, min, max. All tables should have a

Creadable, professionally dignified format. Output directly copy-and-pasted from STATA or R is r not

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acceptable. You can use the STATA “sum/summarize” command to generate descriptive statistics.

Alternately you can generate descriptive statistics with Excel or many other software packages.

Regardless, you must format the output into a dignified and attractive table.

Reproducing your entire data set isnot a substitute for a descriptive statistics table, and it is almost

never a good idea to reproduce your entire set as a table in your paper, as these tables tend not to be

very readable or useful.

If there are special features of your data that are particularly interesting or important, you may choose

to include additional tables or charts that illustrate these features of the data. You may choose to

include additional tables, charts, or graphs to illustrate interesting or important features of the data, but

you have to use your judgment about what to include. Do not include tables or graphs as “filler”.

At this stage you should have collected and worked with your data. I expect your data section or tables

to be “complete”, in the sense that I expect you to report descriptive statistics for all of the key

variables that will be required to execute your analysis plan.

As a rough guide, for a paper that is fourteen pages long, the data section should be about two pages

long.

Theory

The main purpose of the theory section is to establish your credibility by showing that you have

thought carefully about how the wold works.

The theory section should be a clear description of how you think the phenomenon you are studying

works, with a special emphasis on cause and effect. For example, if you are studying the effect of

railroad construction on average land prices, then your theory section should be a clear description of

how you think average land prices are determined: what factors determine them, how do those factors

interact with each other, and how does your variable of interest, in this example railroad construction,

fit into the picture.

For the purposes of the major project paper, your theory section shouldnot include your regression

equations or discussion of econometric techniques like difference-in-differences. Those things should

be in the “Estimation” section of the paper.

Your theory section doesnot need to include a mathematical model or any equations. It is normal in

economics to describe relationships using mathematical equations and algebra, and you are encouraged

to use equations in your model section if you are comfortable doing so. However it is not required, and

if you believe that you can more clearly explain your subject using words without any equations you

are welcome to do that. You are also welcome to use tables, flow-charts, diagrams, or any other

presentation devices that you think are helpful. It is usually best to “keep it simple”.

Your theory section doesnot need to refer to a specific named economic model that you learned in a

previous class or discovered when researching your topic. Depending on your topic, there may be

named model that is particularly relevant and it may be most natural to draw on that model to frame

your discussion. For example in a paper that is about trade patterns it will probably be natural to refer

to the Heckscher-Ohlin model, or at least to the theory of comparative advantage. In my example about

railroad construction and land prices it would be natural to refer to the model of supply and demand in

Cdescribing what determines average land prices. It is important to emphasize, however, that what r

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matters is not whether you “name-check” economic theory, it is that your model section gives a clear

and sensible description of “how things work” and shows high quality critical reasoning about your

subject.Irrelevant expositions of economic theory will not earn you points, and may lose you points if

they are lengthy, erroneous, or unclear.

Your theory section should include an explicit and careful discussion of any potential sources of

endogeneity in the phenomenon you are studying. Endogeneity is any possible alternative causal

relationships between the variable of interest and the outcome being studied, such as feedback loops

between the outcome and the variable of interest, or third factors that determine both the outcome and

the variable of interest. We arenot looking for a technical discussion of what endogeneity means in

econometrics. We are looking for critical thinking regarding the ways in which cause and effect might

be complicated in your research subject. If you are having trouble working out where to start thinking

about endogeneity here are two questions to ask: First, are there any ways in which your outcome

variable might actually cause your right hand side variable of interest? In the example, are there any

ways in which land value might determine railroad construction? Second, are there any ways in which

your outcome variable and your right hand side variable may be jointly determined by something else?

For example, if you are studying the effect of railroad construction on average land value, you might

consider whether different levels of railroad construction in different places are theresult of different

local rates of economic development, which might also affect land prices.

As a rough guide, for a paper that is fourteen pages long, the theory section should be about two pages

long.

Estimation (or Methods)

The main purpose of the estimation section is to precisely document exactly what data analysis you

have done and why.

The estimation section should describe how you analyze the data in order to investigate your research

question. If you have ever taken a lab science class, it may be helpful to think of the “Estimation”

section as corresponding to the “Methods” section of a lab report. That is, the estimation section

should specify exactly what data analysis you executed.

The estimation section should be written in clear, professional prose with a sensible paragraph

structure. You must use your judgment about what information to include in your estimation section

and how to structure it. However at the very least the estimation section should include

• A regression equation for the primary regression model that you will use to answer your

research question.

• An explanation of how this data analysis addresses the research question. For example if there

is a key regression coefficient that captures the relationship that you are trying to measure, say

which coefficient it is, and explain how it captures what you’re trying to measure.

Some of the sort of things that you might choose to mention in this section are:

• The basic “methodology” that you plan to use. For example, if your study is going to use a

difference-in-differences methodology, say that. If your study is going to use an OLS

regression on a cross-section of countries, say that.

• Some specific regressions that you plan to run in order to investigate your research questions.

• If your research question involves some difficulty in identifying cause-and-effect, any plans you

Cr have for making sure that your regressions measure the effect you want them to measure, or for

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exploring alternative possible cause-and-effect mechanisms.

• If you plan on using a sophisticated or high-tech type of estimation technique, how you will

learn or have learned to use that technique correctly (e.g. “I will use a propensity-scorematching model, as learned in my advanced policy evaluation course at the Humphrey School

in fall 2017).

As a rough guide, for a paper that is fourteen pages long, the estimation section should be about two

pages long.

Results

The results section should present and interpret the results of your data analysis. The results section is

the most important section of your paper. You will need to exercise a lot of judgment about what to

include in your results section and how to structure it. The main purpose of the results section is to

explain and discuss what you discovered in your data analysis, and your interpretations and conclusions

about the data analysis are an important part of this section.

Donot include results from regression techniques or tests that you do not understand, just because the

option to run a particular analysis exists in the software command you are using. You run an

unnecessary risk by putting in fancy stuff unless you understand it and have a good case for why it is

appropriate.

The results section should be written in clear, professional prose with a sensible paragraph structure. It

should include regression output tables. It can also include other tables or charts that illustrate in detail

any features of your results that are particularly interesting or important. All tables and charts should

have a readable, professionally dignified format.

At least one results table should be in a standard results table format with the following characteristics:

◦ Different versions of the regression should be arranged as different columns a single results

table.

◦ The RHS variables used in your models should be rows in your results table.

◦ Row headings should be descriptive variable names, so that the reader can tell at a glance

what the meaning of the RHS variable names is rather than having to decode them by

reference to other parts of your paper.

◦ For each regression, your should report at least N, R2, each regression coefficient, and the

standard error associated with each regression coefficient.

◦ If you are comfortable translating the P-value (“P > |t|” in STATA) into asterisks next the

coefficients representing statistical significance at the 5% and 10% levels, you may do this.

Otherwise, please also report the P-values themselves in your results table.

◦ Your table should have blank spaces in the rows corresponding to variables that are not used

in each particular version of the regression model – it should thus be possible to tell exactly

what RHS variables are used in each of the different versions of the model.

◦ If you vary the LHS variable, it should be clear from the column headings what the LHS

variable is in each regression.

To the greatest extent possible, the results section should be self-contained – a paper within a paper. It

should be possible for an educated reader to skip to the results section and understand what you’ve done

and what you’ve found. Thus, for example, regression output tables should be introduced with enough

Cinformation that the reader can work out what type of regression you ran and what variables you used. r

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The written prose should draw the reader’s attention to the most important and interesting features of

the results. The written prose should also relate the results to your research question. It should state

what conclusions you draw about the answer to your research question, and justify those conclusions

based on the results of the data analysis.

The results section should contain a “Conclusions” subsection, that summarizes your research question,

what you have done to answer the research question with evidence, and states your main conclusions

based on your analysis.

As a rough guide, for a paper that is fourteen pages long, the results section should be about four pages

long.

Formatting and length guidelines:

• Tables and figures should be included in the main body of the paper

• Use times New Roman font, size 12 for words and numbers outside tables, and size 11 for

words and numbers inside tables

• Use double-spacing except inside tables

• All page margins should be 1 inch

• Maximum length is 15 pages

• No minimum length

• Use Chicago “author-date” style for references, including both in-text references and the

reference list at the end

• Charts and tables in the text do count towards the page limit

• Reference list at the end of the paper does not count towards the page limit

• Pages should be numbered in the footer of each page

• Your name should be in the footer of each paper

While there is no minimum length, it would be difficult to do the required tasks in fewer then ten

pages, and if your paper is very short, or relies on extensive charts and tables to make up the length,

you could consider this a signal that you need to do more work on some or all of the sections.

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