Share the Post

Outline This seminar and paper course aims to evaluate key economic relations that were predicted to be important for the year 2019. The idea arises from a MacLean’s piece “The most important charts to watch in 2019” . There is also one for 2020 this year but we wish to connect the predictions of 2018 to what actually occurred in 2019 (if possible) There you will find 70 charts where economists both academic and private sector plotted data for variables that they thought were going to be critical in 2019. You are to pick 1 of these and base your paper on this (excluding mine!). Topics are chosen on a first-come-first-serve basis with no repetition. The topics are numerous and varied so that students should find a suitable starting point to proceed with a deeper

investigation. At a minimum you will need to have access to the data in the chart. I would expect students will research the economic theory behind the graphs and to collect where possible the 2019 data that these authors suggested might be important. Questions to address in paper might include:


1. Data source and definitions of variables
2. Why did the author(s) think that this relation was important and what were the consequences in 2019?
3. What has economic theory say of this relationship of the phenomena?
4. Is there a causal connection made or is this just a collection of endogenous variables that seem worrisome but there is no necessary special relationship
5. What other variables might be relevant in determining the chart and what can you empirically find?
6. The statements made in these charts are all empirical and yet there are no sampling variability. Is there anything we can do to put some confidence intervals around these to determine the robustness of the statements?

The details of your study are individual and wide open but you must have clearance with me before proceeding. I expect students to have some empirical work in their paper beyond these graphs. This could be as simple as hypothesis tests on means or regression analysis that you studied in introductory econometrics. Students can use whatever software they are most familiar with (Stata or Excel, for example). I will be able to provide assistance in this regard via Stata or some other software. You will be responsible for getting electronic data and downloading into a program for analysis to support your paper.