empirical research proposal on inequality

ECON 3020 Final ProjectFall Term 2020 –

Instructor: Guillermo Gallacher1

Research Project: Instructions•

The final project consists of an empirical research proposal: you and two co-authors have to come upwith 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 withdata if you had more time. At this point you don’t need to answer this question though. Answering itwould take a much longer time (maybe you can try answering it after the course!).•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 linearregression 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 forstudents. 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 worksfine) and with a reasonably large font size (11 point works fine). The 3-5 page range limit does notinclude references nor does it include supporting figures or tables. You can include your main 2 figureswithin the 3-5 pages, but more figures than that should be included in the Appendix. Your essayshould include at least two figures (graphs or tables).•You should start by motivating your project and then introducing your question. Why is your questionimportant? 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?1

•Keep your motivation to the point. Don’t exaggerate. Don’t over state your contribution to theliterature. 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 discussingwhat tools you would need to learn in order to tackle the question (statistics, econometrics, computerscience, 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 appearin the references; every work listed in the references must be cited in the text. The references shouldbe 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 andhow you downloaded the graphs/tables/data you are using.3 Ideas and Creativity•You should watch the documentary “Inequality for Al”. Use one of the introductory paragraphs of youressay to explain whether the issue you are studying was addressed in the documentary or not. Useanother 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 thinkingof potential questions as soon as possible, and that you keep a log where you can write them downand keep track of them. Otherwise you will tend to forget them. You can then select what you thinkis 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 thefollowing five categories: (1) Question and Motivation, (2) Writing Style, (3) Statistical Analysis, (4)Format, and (5) Conference Presentation (more on this below).•Conference Presentation: Your group will have to give a presentation on the research proposal on theweek of December 1st (during normal class hours). Your group presentation should last 4.5 minutesand have 7 slides (1.5 minutes each person, 2 slides per person + title slide).•You have to submit two files via UM learn by December 1st at 3:00pm: (i) a .pdf file with the essay,and (ii) a powerpoint file with your slides. The file names should include all co-authors’ surnames.Each group member should submit separate (but identical) files via UM Learn.2

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