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Project

WORD LIMIT: The word limit is 3000 words (excluding tables and charts).

ORANISATION

The assessed project for this module will consist of group work (three students per group). Group members will be assessed together and each group will produce one piece of work. The aims are:

  • To give students the opportunity to complete a short practical exercise in econometric investigation on a topic of each group’s choosing.
  • To develop and practice key skills such as team work, communication and organisation.

It is the responsibility of students to form groups. Each person should sign up via Tabula to confirm his/her group membership by 3.30pm on Friday 8th December 2017 (the group sign up will be opened in week 7 of the Autumn Term). Make sure your group meets as early as possible to agree a topic, confirm its feasibility and divide tasks. You should meet regularly throughout the Spring Term to share information, discuss results and prepare draft versions of the project. An important part of the learning outcome is that students learn to work in a group, but in the unlikely event that a student is unhappy in his/her group please contact your class tutor in the first instance to help find a solution.

SUBMISSION

One project per group is to be submitted electronically (https://tabula.warwick.ac.uk/) by the deadline 3.30pm on Monday 19th March 2018. Please nominate in advance which person will be making the submission on behalf of your group. You will need to submit two files: (i) the main project including all the tables and appendices as a PDF file; (ii) output file as a TXT file. You should also submit one Project Submission Form per group by the same deadline.

GENERAL COMMENTS

You will score good marks for a relatively simple exercise done well, showing good understanding and a critical appreciation of the techniques and the results you obtain. Students sometimes mistakenly believe they need to do something which is very 'advanced’ and wholly original to get a good mark. That would be true for a PhD, but not for an MSc Econometrics project. Choose something you feel comfortable working on together with your partners. The econometrics methods used should be within the scope of the econometrics module you have chosen to do. If the results are equivocal or do not support your prior beliefs, that is fine. Explain carefully what you find, why this is at odds with what you expected, and possibly conjecture why this might be.

Please do not expect to be told what to do – an important part of the project is deciding its scope and content. This means you should not expect to receive an answer to a question such as 'if I do x and y, will that be enough?’

The secret of success is planning. Make sure before you start that (i) you know what your initial economic model looks like, (ii) you are familiar with the existing literature, and (iii) suitable data are available. Projects may be based on published studies provided full acknowledgement is given.

Some samples of last year’s titles and actual projects of those who got 70% or more and gave us permission to upload can be found here.

HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR GROUP

In your first meeting you need to decide how to organise your team work. You may wish to consider the following points:

  • When and where are you going to meet? How much time and effort will you each contribute?
  • Will you work as specialists, where you each take on specific tasks, or will you all participate in the jobs?
  • Agree together what tasks need to be completed and who will do what. This will help ensure work is fairly distributed and you don’t duplicate tasks.
  • Agree timescales for completing tasks so you can review your progress and keep on track for the submission deadline.
  • Allow plenty of time at the end to write up and agree the final version of the project.
  • An effective group is likely to produce better work so the resulting mark will partly reflect the progress and success of your group.

HELP - CLASS

Your group should have come up with the topic and thought about the necessary data you need by week 3 of Term 2. Week 4 class in Term 2 will provide an opportunity to discuss the project with your class tutor. However, remember that you can only ask very broad and general questions. There will also be another hour allocated for further questions later on in Term 2. The timing of this will be announced later.

DATA

A vast amount of data is available on the internet. The following are some good places to look.

  • The Library’s “Key Electronic Resources for Economics” webpage
    http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/subjects/social-sciences/economics/. This has links to UKDS (see below) and to OECD, IMF and World Bank data.
  • The UK Data Service webpage (http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/), which provides access to both UK and international data.
  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) online time series data (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/site-information/using-the-website/time-series/index.html) Also access to other data produced by the Office for National Statistics (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/index.html).
  • The Library’s Statistics Collection. Please consult the library webpages.
  • Access to the Datastream database (international economic, company and financial data, including company accounts) is also available in the library. Please consult the library help desk.

Computers can waste a lot of time on even the simplest jobs, although we anticipate that most students will make use of their previous experience and use various options available in Stata. But give yourself plenty of time. Also allow yourself at least a week, preferably a fortnight, for writing up.

FINAL WRITEUP

The final presentation should contain brief accounts of the following aspects:

  • A brief discussion of the issues to be addressed and the purpose of the analysis.
  • A brief description of the economic model (or relationship) to be analysed, the econometric specification to be used and the existing literature.
  • A discussion of the data used in your analysis (including their sources), any strengths and limitations, and the relationship between the theoretical concepts and the available data.
  • An evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the econometric methods that you use (e.g. estimation methods, inference procedures, diagnostic tests, etc.) and of any statistical problems that might be present.
  • A report of your empirical results, including both statistical and economic interpretation, and a discussion of their implications for the issues stated at the start.
  • Your thoughts on how your analysis could be improved or extended given more time.
  • Conclusions, including a very brief statement of the main findings of the project.
  • A bibliography containing a complete list of all references cited.

MARKING CRITERIA

The project will be awarded a mark out of 100.

There will be equal weighting of marks for group members (e.g. a project scoring 65 will mean a mark of 65 for each student in the group).

The Assessment and Feedback Form summarises the marking criteria for the project.

Generic feedback for the 2016-17 project.