Economics Rising Inequality Question

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SUGGESTED TERM PAPER TOPICS
Any word that appears in the “” brackets be more specific, e.g. you may change
to “the United States”.
Are unions still relevant and practical in the labour market?
The prevalence of unions in some labour markets has fallen after a peak period of effectiveness for
the workers they represent. In this paper you would consider whether or not unions can maintain or
improve the effectiveness of their advocacy for labour. Recommendations could be help unions
become more effective or to help employers limit the power of unions. (Choose one or the other.)
Consider the type of union and the location. Terms like “relevant” and “practical” are subjective and
should be defined in your paper’s introduction.
Is there wage rate discrimination in the ?
Employers may favour workers from one demographic group over workers from another
demographic group. For example, females or members of a religion may experience wage rate
discrimination. In this paper you would document and measure the amount of discrimination for a
group of workers and suggest solutions to minimize the problem.
Define the wage rate discrimination and which demographic group would be affected. What sector
of the economy is being considered and what is the time frame. Define how the discrimination
would be measured.
Is effectively training for the ?
In some countries or regions education may be subsidized to help people increase their value in the
labour market. This is often considered a good investment by government because the economy will
benefit from an increase in the supply of skilled labour to keep the economy running smoothly and
growing over time. But in many countries the government cannot effectively keep those who
receive education subsidies from taking their new skills to another labour market. The investment in
education can be lost. How extensive is this problem and what can be done to minimize it?
Define the geography and the occupation and which labour market might be the destination.
Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer in still today?
There will always be a divergence of skills in society. In addition some people will simply work
harder than others. Society will have high and low income earners. But it is a problem when some
parts of society have their income levels fall excessively compared to the wealthiest part of society.
This is a particularly severe problem when poverty becomes excessive and it endangers the health
and safety of some members of society. Recommendations could be made to reduce the level of
income inequality.
In this paper you would find a measure of income inequality and use it over time in a country to
determine the trend in income disparity. It may also be effective to compare income inequality
between two countries. (Comparison between more than two countries is possible but the more
countries involved, the less likely there will be enough detail to effectively cover the details.)
Compare the labour market strength between and during the
period.
In this paper the goal would be to define what factors would measure the labour market strength of
a country. This could be things like employment growth or low levels of unemployment or virtually
any other labour market variable. It is important to justify the choice(s) of labour market strength.
The option to compare two geographic locations (similar in size) would make the conclusion for this
paper easier.
What could one country do to improve their labour market?
Did an increased minimum wage increase unemployment in the ?
This paper would consider the effect of increasing the minimum wage on unemployment. Some
people argue that higher minimum wages will reduce the level of employment (increase the level of
unemployment unless some workers leave the labour force).
Consider the theories around employment levels and minimum wage rates and what the actual data
shows happens when the minimum wages rise.
How can attract and maintain skilled immigrants to their labour market?
In some countries there is a demographic phenomenon called the “aging population”. This occurs
when a portion of the population comes born in a short time period is significantly greater than the
amount of people born in other periods. In Canada and the United States the population born
between 1946 and 1966 (The Baby Boomers) constitutes a large percentage of the total population.
This population bubble is approaching retirement age and the labour force relatively to the entire
population is falling. At one point there were excess supplies of labour, but now there are shortages
of labour in some parts of the labour market.
In order to keep the domestic population growing and the labour shortages minimized, the country
may need to attract and maintain immigrant labour. But there are factors that will help do this, but
what can an area without some of these assets do to attract immigrants? The key will be to consider
the actual evidence from a jurisdiction with this need.
Two Principles
1. Show your knowledge.
2. Deliver your message.
General
Write the paper as if your reader knows nothing about
the subject.
Re-write as often as possible:
• Ask someone else to critique your paper.
• Ask someone unfamiliar with the subject to read the paper
and tell you if it is clear what you mean.
If you are unable to concentrate do something else for a
while.
40 – 20 – 40
As a hierarchical rule
• 40% of your time should be spent on research
• 20% of your time should be spent on writing
• 40% of your time should be spent on editing
This is meant to put your term paper efforts in
perspective and focus effort
Drafts
Feel free to pass a draft into me at any time, there is
an “assignment” on www.turnitin.com to provide
easy submission and quick response.
If you do not want to pass in a draft, you may wish to
discuss aspects of your paper such as
• Your question
• Your theories, if you are using any
• Your data sources
No Quotations
Remember that you are required to show your
knowledge
This means that you must explain ideas and
terms in your own words
If they are someone else’s ideas reference the
source but paraphrase the idea in your own
choice of words
Excessive quotations will reduce your mark
Cherry-picking
When writing a paper make sure you provide enough
information to let the read see the broader picture
For example, do not use an unemployment rate but not
include other relevant statistics and data, include a table
or graph with related information
Discuss the ideas of one author by themselves and then
proceed to another author in the following section or
paragraph
Table of Contents
An effective table of contents with headings and
page numbers will increase the mark
More headings and subheadings are better
These headings allow the author and the reader
to understand the flow of the paper
The paper will make more sense
The author can make changes to the flow and
the reader can follow the logic better
Grammar
Grammar is not directly marked.
But in order to convey you message clearly you
should work at using the best possible grammar in
your paper.
I will highlight obvious grammatical errors for your
information.
Plain Language – Before you
Start Writing
Who is your Audience?
What do you want to say?
How should you organize the Information?
How should you present the information?
Plain Language – Make Your
Ideas Effective
Organize your ideas
Help your reader find the information
Write the way you speak
Plain Language – Clear and Simple
Paragraphs and Sentences
Limit each paragraph to one idea
Don’t overload sentences
Link your ideas
Avoid ambiguity
Avoid double negatives
Plain Language – Think About
Your Choice of Words
Cut out unnecessary words
Explain technical words
Don’t change verbs into nouns
Explain complex ideas
Choose your words carefully
Use acronyms carefully
Plain Language – Appearances
are Very Important
Spacing
Headings and sub-headings
Highlighting
Table of Contents
Graphics and Illustrations
Objectives
• Develop a search strategy
• Locate literature (articles, books, etc.) to inform
your essay
• Look for “the experts” and sources of statistics
• Explore the grey literature
• Cite your sources
Choosing a Topic: Define,
Refine, Repeat Topic
• example: precarious employment (what, who, when, where, why, how)
• (who) age, gender, occupation/profession, minority/ethnic groups, etc.?
• (where) Nova Scotia, Canada, North America, multi-country comparison,
etc.?
• (when) now, last 10 years, etc.? • etc. Patrick Power Library, 2020 DEFINE
your research topic. For example: Is precarious employment increasing
among women in Canada? REFINE: Identify key search terms and
synonyms
• women / female(s) / men / gender …
• precarious / temporary / part-time / non-standard …
Choosing a Topic: Define,
Refine, Repeat Topic
• employment / work / jobs / labor / labour …
• Related ideas: discrimination, inequality, etc. To locate articles on
your topic:
• ABI/INFORM [business] & CBCA [Canadian business & news]
• Click Advanced Search to get started • EBSCO Business Source
Premier [business]
• PAIS [public policy and legislation]
• Web of Science [Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities]
See the Databases A-Z list for a complete list of journal databases,
or consult the Economics Subject Guide (see Find Articles). P
Working with Database Results
• Review and evaluate your search results for relevancy, suitability,
etc.
• Read abstracts and other details contained in records retrieved
• Reject marginal articles
• Further refine your search strategy as needed.
• Rerun searches as you read and discover new information and
vocabulary to describe your topic
• Check the database Thesaurus (if available) for terms & synonyms
• Refine your searching using limit options as needed (e.g., limit by
date, document type, language, search within specific fields, etc.)
Cited Reference Searching
• Search for articles that have cited a published author or work
• Why is this useful?
• When you find an article that is particularly relevant to your
research, there’s a good chance that other publications that have
cited the article will also be relevant to your research, and more
current.
• Many databases offer cited reference searching
• Web of Science is the original citation search tool, a large
multidisciplinary database
Locating Statistics
• Starting point: Look for sources of statistics as noted in
periodical articles that discuss your topic
• Statistics Canada Web site :
https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/start
• Statistics & Data Subject Guide •
http://libguides.smu.ca/statistics
• Click on the tabs (i.e., Canada, Nova Scotia,
International, & Corporate) to find links to federal,
provincial, international, and corporate statistical
resources
Grey Literature
Information produced by organizations such as:
• Think Tanks • e.g., Conference Board of Canada (accessible from
Databases A-Z list), C.D. Howe Institute, Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives, etc.
• Search think tanks Canada in Google and you will find several lists
including this one from the University of Alberta
http://guides.library.ualberta.ca/think-tanks/canadian
• Industry, Government & Regulatory bodies e.g., websites, government
libraries, technical reports, white papers
• Academia • e.g., theses & dissertations, archives & institutional
repositories http://www.carl-abrc.ca/advancing-research/institutionalrepositories/repos-in-canada/ (links to Canadian institutional repositories)
• NGOs, Scholarly associations & societies e.g., conference proceedings,
newsletters
Term Paper
Structure:
The term paper should be between 10 and 20 pages in length and contain these
elements:
Question / Problem Definition:
In this section you should outline the topic for the paper and ask a specific
question. Please remember that I do not want a descriptive paper but rather one
that answers a question.
Analysis:
In this section of the paper you should analyze the information that you have
collected. State both sides of the argument and make sure that you are treating
the subject objectively.
Conclusion:
In this section make sure you answer the question from the first section, that the
analysis in the third section supports your answer and that your answer is
definitive
Recommendations:
Make sure that you make at least two practical recommendations.
Bibliography:
Clearly list all reference materials.
Topic:
You will be given some general topic suggestions via e-mail which you may
refine and customize to your preferences. The best term papers have often been
written by students who have found a topic which holds personal interest to them.
Do this if possible. You will receive a suggested topic in an email in the next few
days. Further instruction on structure and instruction on writing / researching your
term paper will be given in the Term Paper Workshop.

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Rising Inequality

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