390Syllabus - Economics 390 Statistical Foundations for...

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Economics 390 Statistical Foundations for Econometrics Syllabus 3 Credits Tuesday, Thursday: 11:15-12:30 Ag Science 101 Instructor Daniel Goldstein 308 Kern Building [email protected] (USE THIS EMAIL ONLY, NOT ANGEL.) Office Phone: 863-4940 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:30-3:30. Wednesdays, 1-3. Teaching Assistant TBA Economics Department Phone Number 865-1456 Textbook and Coursepack Statistics for Business and Economics , by Paul Newbold, William L. Carlson, and Betty Thorne, 6 th Edition, Prentice Hall. ( You need not use the “Penn State Edition” of this text. If you can find a general edition more cheaply, good!) A required coursepack containing topic-specific materials, practice exams, and reference tables is available from the bookstore. Course Website This class will utilize Penn State’s ANGEL course management system. See https://cms.psu.edu . Homework (and solutions), grades, and other materials will be posted there throughout the term. Do not send me emails to Angel. Send them to my internet email only. Course Description/Objectives Economics 390 presents material from probability and statistics that is essential background for the successful study of introductory econometrics in Econ 490. The first part of the course will cover concepts related to probability and provide many examples of the use of probabilistic reasoning. Next, we introduce random variables and how they may be represented by probability distributions of either discrete or continuous type. Next we will discuss sampling from a population and the distributions of some sample statistics. This leads us to the crucial question of estimation – how to best use empirical data to inform us about the value of the unknown parameters of a population. Whether the result of any estimation is “important” in a statistical sense is addressed through hypothesis testing – the use of data as evidence in helping confirm or reject hypotheses an economist might have as to how the world works. The last two weeks of the course will synthesize many of the above ideas in introducing a new topic: linear regression , which is the main focus of Econ 490, and is the fundamental tool of empirical economics (not to mention many other fields).
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Coursework Your grade in the class will be comprised of four different components: 1) Exams (70%), 2) Homework (15%), 3) In class exercises (15%), 4) Attendance (5% Extra Credit). Exams (70%) : There will be two midterm exams, held in class the 5 th and 11 th weeks of the semester. The dates are: Thursday, February 11 and Thursday, April 1. Time permitting, the class period preceding each midterm will be a review session. Each midterm is worth 20% of your total grade. There will also be a final exam (30%) held during the class’s scheduled exam time.
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390Syllabus - Economics 390 Statistical Foundations for...

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