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1 Final Project: Instructions • The final project consists of an empirical research proposal: you and two co-authors have to come up with a research question about economic growth and/or

 1           Final Project: Instructions

•   The final project consists of an empirical research proposal: you and two co-authors have to come up with a research question about economic growth and/or inequality and write a short essay about it.

•   Think of the paper as the following: You have to formulate a  question that you  could answer with  data if you had more time. At this point you need to answer this question though. 

•   What question can you ask? Any  empirical question related to economic growth and/or inequality.  The question has to be empirical: it should not be a theoretical paper. Your question has to be specific, though. Your paper should not be a “journalistic” article.

•   You can use descriptive statistics (tables, graphs) and other basic statistical methods such as linear regression to motivate your question. It is very important for you to write well (spelling, grammar, punctuation, structure). Check with the U Manitoba Academic Learning Center for resources for students. It is also very important to follow the format detailed below.

2         Format

•   The paper should be between 3 and 5 pages long, with reasonable spacing between lines (1.5 works fine) and with a reasonably large font size (11 point works fine). The 3-5 page range limit does not include references nor does it include supporting figures or tables. You can include your main 2 figures within the 3-5 pages, but more figures than that should be included in the Appendix. Your essay  should include at least two figures (graphs or tables).

•   You should start by motivating your project and then introducing your question. Why is your question important? What led you to think about this? What is your hypothesis or prior belief at this point?

How are you planning to answer this question? What kind of data should you use?

•   Keep your motivation to the point. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t over state your contribution to the literature. Don’t make strong policy claims based on research that is tentative and preliminary.

•   Since you will not have a conclusion in terms of answers, you should finish your paper by discussing what tools you would need to learn in order to tackle the question (statistics, econometrics, computer science, etc). You should discuss directions for future research.

•   Include a separate references section at the end of the paper. Every work cited in the text must appear in the references; every work listed in the references must be cited in the text.  The references should  be in alphabetical order. There are a number of different acceptable styles for citations and references. The only real requirement is that you include enough information. You have  to describe where and  how you downloaded the graphs/tables/data you are using.

3         Ideas and Creativity

•   You should watch the documentary “Inequality for All”. Use one of the introductory paragraphs of your essay to explain whether the issue you are studying was  addressed in the documentary or not.  Use another paragraph to explain if the course textbook discusses your topic or not.

•   Try to research about something that truly interests you. My recommendation is that you start thinking of potential questions as soon as possible,  and that you  keep a log where you can write them down and keep track of them. Otherwise you will tend to forget them.  You  can then select what you  think  is the most interesting idea.

4         Final Grade

•   The project has a total of 100 points. Your final grade will be determined by equal weights on the following four categories: (1) Question and Motivation, (2) Writing Style, (3) Statistical Analysis and

(4) Format.

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