ECON 4848-002 Applied Econometrics

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ECON 4848-002 Applied Econometrics
Economics 4848- Applied Econometrics
Fall 2010, MWF 10-10:50, Humanities 1B45
Professor Terra G. McKinnish
Econ 115
[email protected]
Course Website
CULearn: https://culearn.colorado.edu
Office Hours
MW 2-3 and Thurs 10:30-11:30
It is very easy to schedule appointments outside of office hours with me—I am almost always in
my office during normal business hours. Just send email or talk to me before or after class.
Course Prerequisite
This class requires previous completion of Economics 3818, Intro to Statistics, or the equivalent.
Course Description
The goal of this course is to teach you how to analyze data in order to obtain meaningful
inferences, in other words, to use data to say something informative about interesting questions.
Because these are skills that are best learned by doing, this requires that students develop facility
with a statistical software package. In this course, we will use STATA, a package particularly
well suited for empirical economics analysis. While students will exert a fair amount of energy
mastering STATA in order to follow the lectures and complete the assignments in this course, it
is important to remember that learning STATA commands is only a means to an end, and that the
key focus of this course is develop skills in econometric analysis and interpretation.
Course Materials
A course pack developed by Prof. Brian Cadena serves as an informal textbook. It is available in
electronic form on the CULearn website. Additionally, hard copies are available at the CU
Stata Support:
Web Links on the course website provide access to additional on-line STATA help guides and
Students are not required to purchase their own copies of STATA. You can access STATA on
the computers in this classroom or in the computer lab in the basement of the economics
building. Note that the economics building is closed on weekends, but remains open until 10pm
on weekdays. If you chose to purchase your own copy of STATA, you qualify for a substantial
discount through the University’s GradPlan. Information is available at:
http://www.colorado.edu/its/licenses/stata.html. Please note that Small Stata is insufficient for
this course. 2009 prices for Stata/IC (Intercooled Stata) license were $98 for 1 year and $65 for
6 months.
You will find it useful to bring a USB memory stick to class to store copies of programs and log
files from our work in class.
Course Requirements
Attendance: Attendance is absolutely crucial to success in this class. In order to re-enforce the
importance of attendance, it will be factored into final grades. Attendance will be taken
regularly and any student missing more than 20% (3 weeks of class, or 9 class meetings) of
the course’s scheduled classes will receive a failing grade. To be clear, these absences are
intended to cover both valid (illness, car breaking down) and invalid reasons for missing class.
Excused absences will therefore not be granted. I reserve the right to record an absence for
students who spend substantial class time on non-class activities.
Exams: Two midterms and a final exam. The first midterm is scheduled for Mon, Sept 20. The
second midterm is scheduled for Fri, Oct 22. The final is scheduled for Sat, Dec 11 4:30-7:00.
Research Paper and Presentation: The goal of this course is to train you to perform and interpret
original analyses of economic data. To that end, you will complete one independent research
project, using the skills taught in this course. You will write a paper (6-8 pages, double-spaced,
including figures and tables) on a topic of interest to you, focusing on original analysis of
relevant data. Some course time will be spent teaching you how to download and analyze U.S.
Census data, and many students will formulate a research question that can be investigated using
Census data. Students are, however, free to pursue other data sources on topics of interest. I can
provide a certain amount of direction, but ultimately students are responsible for obtaining the
data they use, loading it into STATA, and manipulating it into a usable format.
I will hold individual meetings the first week of November (11/1-11/5) to make sure that
you have found an appropriate topic and data set and provide some individual guidance (class
will be cancelled during the week to allow for individual meetings during class time).
During the final 2 weeks of the course (11/29-12/10), each student will give a 10-12
minute presentation of his or her research project. The research paper is due on the last day of
class, Dec 10, by 5 pm. You are also required to provide me with a copy of your data,
sufficiently well labeled that I could replicate your results if I desired. For most students, their
final project grade will be determined by the quality of the written paper, however, I will adjust
the final project grade down or up (up to 10%) for presentations that are substantially below or
above reasonable course expectations.
Grades will be based on:
20% Midterm 1 (Mon, Sept 20)
20% Midterm 2 (Fri, Oct 22)
30% Final Research Project
30% Final Exam (Sat, Dec 11)
Final letter grades will be based on the cumulative performance I would expect from an
intelligent and hardworking student.
Some Additional Notes/Policies
Material from a Missed Class: If you miss class, you are responsible for obtaining the material
you missed. There is sufficient overlap with the course pack that reviewing the relevant material
there will help, but you should arrange to obtain log file/programs/notes from a classmate (not
from the professor), and work through these on your own to catch back up with the class.
Students will frequently work on ungraded in-class exercises, and these will be posted on the
course website for students who miss class to complete on their own.
Missed Exams: Make-up exams for the midterms will not be given. Midterm exam absences
will only be excused for compelling circumstances (generally family emergencies or documented
illness), in which case the other course material will be re-weighted. Students with a compelling
and documented excuse for missing the final exam will take the final at an alternate time
determined by the professor. Students anticipating conflict with an exam date due to religious
observance or over-scheduling (3 or more exams on the same day) must bring these to my
attention within the first 3 weeks of class.
Special Accommodations: Students with documented disabilities who may need academic
accommodations should speak with me during first three weeks of the class. Also contact the
Disability Services Office, Willard 322 (phone 303-492-8671), so that such accommodations
may be arranged.
Class Disruptions: Ringing cell phones, texting during class time, and pets (as opposed to service
animals) are not welcome in my class.
Class Start and End Times: I generally make sure that this class starts and ends on time. If you
find that you are frequently late to class or find that I am frequently running over, first check to
make sure your watch is set correctly: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/city.html?n=75
Academic Integrity: All students are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic
integrity policy of the University of Colorado at Boulder (www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html
and www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode/ ). All incidents of academic misconduct will be
reported to the Honor Code Council. I particularly encourage students to avoid plagiarism
(portrayal of another’s work or ideas as one’s own) and therefore to conscientiously identify and
cite all ideas or language borrowed from any other work.
Course Schedule
Week 1 (Aug 23-27): Introduction and Getting Started in STATA
Week 2 (Aug 30-Sept 1): Summarizing Continuous Data
Week 3 (Sept 8-10): Categorical Data
Week 4 (Sept 13-17): Hypothesis Testing
Week 5: Mon, Sept 20- 1st Midterm
Sept 22-24: Relationship between 2 variables
Week 6 (Sept 27-Oct 1): Simple Regression
Week 7 (Oct 4-8): Multiple Regression
Week 8 (Oct 11-15): Omitted Variable Bias
Week 9 (Oct 18-22): Binary Variables and Interaction Models
Fri, Oct 22: 2nd Midterm
Week 10 (Oct 25-20): IPUMS Tutorial
Week 11 (Nov 1-5): Individual meetings during class time to discuss final projects
Weeks 12 and 13 (Nov 8-19): Advanced topics
Week 14 (Nov 22-26): Fall/Thanksgiving Break
Weeks 15 and 16 (Nov 29-Dec 10): Final Project Presentations
Fri, Dec 10, 5 pm, Final Papers Due
Sat, Dec 11, 4:30-7, Final Exam
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