Presentation on theme: "Writing an Empirical Research Report, and Sources of Economic Data Adapted from Vera Tabakova’s ECON 4551 Econometrics II Memorial University of Newfoundland."— Presentation transcript:
Writing an Empirical Research Report, and Sources of Economic Data Adapted from Vera Tabakova’s ECON 4551 Econometrics II Memorial University of Newfoundland
17.1 Selecting a Topic for an Economics Project 17.2 A Format for Writing a Research Report 17.3 Sources of Economic Data
Select an area of interest and identify a problem you wish to work on. Economic theory? Research question from current events? Historical analysis? Consider less conventional areas of economics (behavioural economics, economic history, labour/health economics, economics of the family, environmental economics, sports economics, etc.)
Select an area of interest and identify a problem you wish to work on. Find inspiration is textbooks and economics journals: you do not have to be 100% original, just find an original contribution You do not have to use the latest cutting edge type of analysis! Apply earlier analysis to new data? Consider replicating previous analyses with a twist Apply new analysis to old data?
Find suitable and readily available data. Do not think that you will be able to find data for any given problem eventually: you probably won’t!!! Ideally find data that has been tried before, so potential problems have been addressed Use reliable sources of well documented data
Find suitable and readily available data. Consider carefully the type of data you want to use: what type of variable is the dependent variable? Data structure: cross-section, panel? Time-series are readily available for macrodata, but can you handle time series analysis? Will you learn the necessary techniques in time? Check the syllabus!
Find suitable and readily available data. Make sure your data makes sense You have enough variability to work with Large enough sample size
Learn the econometric procedures that are appropriate for analyzing the data, and implement them on the computer. Check the course syllabus and consult me if in doubt You might not need to use the most complex type of analysis!
If you feel you are stuck for a topic go find data: the data and some thinking might just give you the inspiration you need!
The abstract should be short, usually no more than 500 words (100 to 200 best), and should include: 1. a concise statement of the problem; 2. comments on the information that is available with one or two key references; 3. a description of the research design that includes: i. the economic model, ii. the econometric estimation and inference methods, iii. data sources, iv. estimation, hypothesis testing and prediction procedures; and 4. the potential contribution of the research.
1. Statement of the Problem Summary of the questions you wish to investigate, why they are important and who should be interested in the results. This introductory section should be non-technical and it should motivate the reader to continue reading the paper. Useful to map out the contents of the following sections of the report.
2. Review of the Literature Briefly summarize the relevant literature in the research area you have chosen and clarify how your work extends our knowledge. Identify gaps in the literature and how your paper advances our knowledge Cite the works of others who have motivated your research, but keep it brief: no need to survey everything ever written on the topic.
3. The Economic Model Specify the economic model you used, and define the economic variables. State model’s assumptions and identify hypotheses that you wish to test. Your task is to explain the model clearly, but as briefly and simply as possible. Don’t use unnecessary technical jargon. Use simple terms instead of complicated ones when possible.
4. The Econometric Model Discuss the econometric model that corresponds to the economic model. Make sure you include a discussion of the variables in the model, the functional form, the error assumptions and any other assumptions that you make. Use notation that is as simple as possible, and do not clutter the body of the paper with long proofs or derivations (use technical appendix!)
5. The Data Describe the data you used, the source of the data and any reservations you have about their appropriateness. Consider including variable definitions table and summary descriptives table Identify the source of each variable
5. The Data Get a “good feel for the data”: summarize, graph, tabulate, handle carefully and label every transformation Study outliers (and then influential observations with care) Consider carefully what to do about missing data Document every step and every transformation (use script files?)
5. The Estimation and Inference Procedures Describe the estimation methods you used and why they were chosen. Explain hypothesis testing procedures and their usage.
7. The Empirical Results and Conclusions Report parameter estimates, their interpretation and the values of test statistics. Comment on their statistical significance, their relation to previous estimates and their economic implications. 7. Possible Extensions and Limitations of the Study What future research is suggested by your findings and how might you go about it?
9. Acknowledgments 9. It is appropriate to recognize those who have commented on and contributed to your research. This may include your instructor, a librarian who helped you find data, a fellow student who read and commented on your paper. 10. References 9. An alphabetical list of the literature you cite in your study, as well as references to the data sources you used. Format them consistently!!! (See how other economists do it. Consult “guide for authors” of journals!) 10. Consult Writing Centre and Library Resources for this!!!
17.3.1 Links to Economic Data on the Internet Resources for Economists (RFE) [http://www.aeaweb.org/rfe/ US Macro and Regional Data Here you will find links to various data sources such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Reports of the President, and the Federal Reserve Banks. Other US Data Here you will find links to the US Census Bureau, as well as links to many panel and survey data sources. The gateway to US Government agencies is FedStats [http://www.fedstats.gov/].http://www.fedstats.gov/
World and Non-US Data Here there are links to world data, such as the CIA Factbook, and the Penn World Tables. International organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, etc. Finance and Financial Markets Here there are links to sources of US and world financial data on variables such as exchange rates, interest rates and share prices. Journal Data and Program Archives Some economic journals post data used in articles.
Business and Economics Datalinks [http://www.econ-datalinks.org/] is a site maintained by the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association. It provides links to economics and financial data sources of interest to economists and business statisticians, along with an assessment of the quality of each site.http://www.econ-datalinks.org/
Resources for Econometricians: A link which contains a range of resources for econometricians is Econometrics Journal online. The specific link to data sources is: http://www.feweb.vu.nl/econometriclinks/#data http://www.feweb.vu.nl/econometriclinks/#data Economagic [http://www.Economagic.com/] is an excellent and easy-to-use source of macro time series (some 100,000 series available). The data series are easily viewed in a copy and paste format, or graphed.http://www.Economagic.com/
Data web sites are constantly being created. Some recent examples include: Time-Web: http://www.bized.ac.uk/timeweb/http://www.bized.ac.uk/timeweb/ Statistical Resources on the Web: http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/stats.html http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/stats.html Business, Financial and Economic Data: http://www.forecasts.org/data/ http://www.forecasts.org/data/
17.3.1 Traditional Sources of Economic Data International Financial Statistics (IMF, monthly) Basic Statistics of the Community (OECD, annual) Consumer Price Indices in the European Community (OECD, annual) World Statistics (UN, annual) Yearbook of National Accounts Statistics (UN, annual) FAO Trade Yearbook (annual).
Survey of Current Business (BEA, monthly) Handbook of Basic Economic Statistics (BES, monthly) Monthly Labor Review (BLS, monthly) Federal Reserve Bulletin (FR, monthly) Statistical Abstract of the US (BC, annual) Economic Report of the President (annual) Agricultural Statistics (USDA, annual) Agricultural Situation Reports (USDA, monthly) Economic Indicators (Council of Economic Advisors, monthly).
Stata website will have a lot of practice datasets and most textbooks (including yours will have a wealth of example datasets available in Stata, Excel, GRETL, formats) GRETL can easily handle STATA files Also, some researchers will make data available through their websites… Or, if needed, ask them for the data
A useful resource: A Guide to Everyday Economic Statistics, 6 th Edition [Gary E. Clayton and Martin Gerhard Giesbrecht (2003) Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill].