Econ388ProjectInfo - I1 James B McDonald Brigham Young...

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James B. McDonald Brigham Young University 9/2009 Econometric Projects The purpose of the project is to provide an opportunity to formulate a model of interest, collect relevant data, estimate the model and interpret the results. This experience will facilitate an integration of the statistical and econometric methodologies discussed in class with other economics courses which may focus more on institutional descriptions of events and organizations or an analysis of theoretical models. These models are merely hypothesized explanations of observed economic data and should be estimated and tested. Econometrics provides a method of testing the validity of the hypotheses underlying economic models. 1. Model Selection and Data The selection of a model and data to be used are the first steps in an econometric project. Other economics courses or related journal articles may provide a source of interesting models. The determination of an econometric project should be based on both an interesting model and available data. A common problem encountered with econometric projects is the unavailability of relevant data. Some helpful data sources are contained in the section I.B.3 of the notes. A growing number of journals provide data used in published articles. Replicating and updating the research in a published paper can be a productive exercise. Alternatively, you might consider selecting a project related to your future career aspirations, a unique data source to which you have special connections, or a passion you have long held. A pre-med student used epidemiology data he was already working on with a professor from the Microbiology Department. A pre-law student studied the determinants to law school rankings. A BYU basketball player studied the impact of various statistics on total BYU points scored. A student working for a direct-sales company used Census data to predict what counties would be most successful for his company. Another student had a job in the energy industry and built a model predicting natural gas prices. One approach is to think about topics that would be good talking points in future job interviews. Previous topics have truly been very diverse in terms of both topic and scope. Some more examples: Determination of factors related to admission to medical school (one student wrote the admissions committee and requested anonymous data, one student’s father was the president of a college) 1 I
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The relationship between the value of diamonds and cut, color, and clarity (one student found an online database of diamond prices and characteristics) Factors best determining the probability of divorce (one student used, one student obtained the data from a BYU MFHD professor he had) Interplay between state hunting licenses and state deer population (student requested data from Minnesota State Hunting Department) Financial applications such as estimating betas of stocks (students have used Marriott School resources, such as Bloomberg and Compustat)
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Econ388ProjectInfo - I1 James B McDonald Brigham Young...

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