ECON 345 Fertility Rates Under the Rapid Economic Development Essay


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Applied Econometrics Independent Research Project – Term Paper
Choose a topic and hypothesis of your choice, find an appropriate dataset, estimate a regression model, and present your
model and results in a written academic essay (i.e. term paper). You can choose any topic or dataset that might interest
you. If you need some inspiration, has fascinating long-run datasets, but you are welcome to
use any data to answer any question you are interested in (for example: does smoking affect babies’ birthweight? Has
the introduction of airbags/seatbelts lowered car accident deaths? Has the BC carbon tax lowered CO2 emissions? etc.).
Present your results in the form of a written academic essay (maximum length of 3 pages + references). The project
must be submitted by November 7th, 4pm, as a PDF document. Files submitted as Word document or Pages files
will not be accepted and count as not submitted.
The essay should be an academic piece of writing (avoid casual language, bullet points, make sure you correctly cite the
relevant literature, and do not copy and paste R-code or output). The essay should follow a clear and coherent structure,
for example you could structure your paper as:
1) Introduction
Stating your hypothesis, explain why this topic is important and relevant, what related literature already exists
(correctly citing relevant papers), and how your work contributes to the existing literature on this topic.
2) Data
Describe your data (including sources and descriptions of variables), ideally including a well-labelled Figure.
3) Methods
Describe your estimated model (ideally as an equation), justify the functional form you choose (log, quadratic,
etc.) and what assumptions you make in your model, and whether these assumptions are reasonable in your
4) Results
Show your estimated model results in a Table including: coefficients, standard errors, number of observations,
and R-squared (see below for an example in Table 1). Interpret your results carefully, conduct and interpret
hypotheses tests (individual and perhaps joint tests). Do not copy and paste R-output or code (also no
screenshots), but instead present your results in a clear manner so that someone not familiar with your data
and code can understand it. Be careful about causal interpretations!
Table 1: Estimation Results
Dependent Variable = log(wage)
1.02 (0.52)
0.55 (0.33)
-0.05 (0.03)
0.72 (0.23)
Number of Observations 342
R-Squared 0.76
Standard errors shown in parentheses.
5) Conclusion
Summarise your results and discuss what you conclude based on your findings, consider shortcomings of your
model and future research if you were to explore this question further.
6) References
References to the literature and data used.
The essay is worth 20% of your final grade and will be assessed based on the following criteria:
1. Structure & Presentation (50%)
a. Is the research questions clearly defined, the paper clearly structured and coherently written?
b. Are the results presented clearly, with standard errors reported, all Figures labelled, and regression
results shown in a clear Table?
2. Technical Correctness, Interpretation, & References (50%)
a. Is the interpretation and estimation technically correct, and are the results discussed and interpreted
b. Are data and relevant literature properly referenced?
3. Length:
a. Is the paper within the three-page limit (excl. references)? (-5% per page over limit)
A note on plagiarism: this research project constitutes independent work. You must reference any literature you cite and
any data and methods you use. Review What is Plagiarism for the definition of plagiarism. The consequences of
plagiarism range from a failing grade for an assignment or course to disciplinary probation or even expulsion from the

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economic development

one-child policy

fertility rates

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