ECO 231W

Undergraduate Econometrics

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ECO 231W Check-in List

Spring 2017

This page contains information on the ECO 231W course at the University of Rochester. The majority of the information in this page is specific to this course. If you are not taking it, I recommend that you check out the page "How to use this website" by clicking on the link above.

Attention current ECO 231W students!
Reading this page in the first week of classes is mandatory.

Instructors

Principal Instructor
Prof. Carolina Caetano
Homepage
About prof. Caetano (office location, mailing address, etc.)
Email prof. Caetano

Graduate TAs
TBA

Undergraduate TAs
TBA

To find out the specialty of each TA, as well as their emails, go to the contact the TAs page.

Course Pre-Requisites

Official pre-requisites are ECO 207 and ECO 230 (or equivalent SST 213 or MTH 203). See more details about background requirements here. See what to do if your background is insufficient here.

Assignments

This course has 2 midterms, 1 final, 1 replication, 1 project, and 2 Stata homeworks. All the assignments will be carefully described in the announcements page as the semester progresses Here is a brief description:

Midterms
Each midterm has two questions.
Question 1 will describe a situation, and ask several questions. The questions will be given to you in advance, but the situation is a surprise.
Question 2 refers to a scientific paper. The paper and the questions will be given to you in advance.

Final
The final has two questions.
Question 1 is similar to question 1 in the midterms, however, both the situation and the questions will be a surprise (although by the end of the semester you will be able to guess what will be asked).
Question 2 is an essay. You will be given a situation, and you will describe how you would develop a research project about it. The situation will be a surprise, but you will be able to see the examples used in the previous years.

Replication
The replication assignment is a replication of the same paper we were studying in the midterms using Stata. You will download a data set, clean it, and do everything the author did, hopefully achieving similar results.

Project
The project is a 5 to 10 page essay criticizing the paper we studied in the midterms and the replication. It begins with a description, and then continues to a critique.

Stata homeworks
The Stata homeworks are intended for you to practice programming using this software.

Weights

40% Midterms
25% Final
10% Replication
10% Stata homeworks
15% Project

Details:
  1. This course is graded on a curve. You can read more details about how the grading is determined here.
  2. After I assign the final grade, you can receive a positive mark, which is a one grade bump. Read more about the positive mark here.

Important Dates


02/06 No class
02/10 Homework 1 due
02/24 Homework 2 due
02/27 No class
03/01 No class
03/08 Midterm 1
03/31 Replication due
04/12 Midterm 2
04/26 Final class
05/05 Project due
05/08 and 05/09 Final

Pay attention to the underlined dates. You must come to class to take exams on those dates, so plan accordingly.

Make up exams and late homeworks

There are no make-up exams, and the rules on late homeworks are very strict. When an assignment is posted, there will be an update in the announcements page with all the rules concerning that assignment.

Lectures and sections

Lectures follow the notes, which you can download in the download page. You will see that the notes have several gaps in them which you must fill in class. Hence, though lectures are not mandatory, you must make sure that you get the notes somewhere. A lot of the material in the notes cannot be found in the book, so you must take action to complete the notes if you missed class.

Sections. The Stata TAs will hold special sections to teach Stata. These sections are not mandatory. See more details below under Resources. By the way, when you signed up for this course, you also signed up for recitations. This is not something determined by me, the university makes you sign up for those recitations when you register. We may use these rooms for office hours or sections, but there are no mandatory recitations in this course. Check the Calendar page for the schedule.

Stata

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This course uses the software Stata. This software is extremely user-friendly, and quite up-to-date with the state of the art in applied Social Sciences research. Consider learning to work with this program as one of the most valuable skills you will acquire in this course.

The university has Stata installed in all lab computers. You can also purchase an inexpensive Stata license following the instructions in this link. If you decide to buy Stata, buy the IC version or better ($69 for a 6 month license). Do not buy the "small Stata" version, because it won't be able to handle most data sets in this course.

Book

This course has no book. The material is presented in the notes. However, if you would like to have more references, there are two excellent books that I highly recommend. In fact, I often refer to sessions in those books in the class plan (when I do you are not required to read them, but it will give you a more thorough perspective if you do).

The first book recommended is "Statistics," by David Freedman, Robert Pisani, and Roger Purves. It is published by W.W. Norton. Be sure to buy the 4th edition, 2007.

This book approaches the material in a brilliant way. It goes to the heart of the issues, and is very explicit in exposing the problems with the techniques.

You can buy it directly from the editor: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/978-0-393-92972-0/

but you may get a better deal at other online retailers such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. The link for Amazon is:

http://www.amazon.com/Statistics-4th-Edition-David-Freedman/dp/0393929728

The second book recommended is "Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach," by Jeffrey Wooldridge. It is published by Cengage Learning. Be sure to buy the 5th edition, 2013.

This book is excellent, and very in tune with the way applied research is done nowadays.

You can buy it directly from the editor: http://www.cengagebrain.com/shop/isbn/9781111531041

but you may get a better deal at other online retailers such as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. The link for Amazon is:

http://www.amazon.com/Introductory-Econometrics-Modern-Approach-Economics/dp/1111531048.
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Resources

Office hours. There are many office hours spread through all days in the week. You can see the schedule in the calendar page. You can bring all your questions to the regular office hours, but I recommend that you check the Contact the TAs page to see in what that TA specializes. After the assignments are handed back, the TAs that graded the assignment hold grading office hours. Bring your grading questions to them.

Stata Resources. We offer video tutorials for Stata. The Stata TAs hold recitations to teach Stata to those who prefer to learn in a classroom. Note that the curriculum of the videos and the recitations is the same, so you can choose to use either or all. Check the calendar page to see when the recitations are offered. You can pick any recitation you like. All TAs follow a common curriculum, but the pace and what they choose to do on a given week is up to them, so it may be confusing to change the recitation you attend from week to week.

Class Plan. This page contains a very detailed plan of the entire course, including assignment due dates. I update it often to make adjustments to the plan as the course progresses, and to write comments. You can use this page to prepare for classes in advance, as a review guide, and as a detailed account of the material that will be required in the exams.

Forum. The forum is the go-to place when you have questions, especially if you need them answered soon. Before you e-mail anybody, check the forum. Somebody may have already posted the same question, and received an answer. If not, post the question there. There are TAs especially assigned to monitor the Forum, answer questions, and contact me or the other TAs when they don’t know the answer. I also check the Forum frequently, monitor most of the TA answers, and often answer questions there. You do not need to post under your name, you can create a dummy account if you feel embarrassed. If you e-mail us questions that we think will be of general interest, we will likely ask you to post if there anyway, so save everybody’s time and go there directly. Want to know how to post in the forum? Read this.

Live Help Events. These are forum office hours. During those events one of the TAs will be monitoring the forum, and answering questions as they appear. During the Live Help events your questions will be likely answered on the spot, and you don’t even have to leave your home.

E-mail. You should e-mail me or one of the TAs when your question is not of general interest. There are special rules concerning e-mails, and you can read them in the Contact us page.

IMPORTANT

If throughout the semester ANY student feels either depressed, overly anxious, desperate, hopeless, angry, or neglected, be it related to this course or not, please reach out. Write to me or come meet with me at the office hours.

How to use this website

This website is responsive, so you can take advantage of the resources offered here in tablet and phone browsers. Here is an explanation of the links in the main page.
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Class Plan: this page has a detailed breakdown of the course curriculum, including assignments, readings, as well as the Stata sections.
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Announcements: this is a blog-style page where I post updates for the students. The most important posts concern the assignments, where all the rules and procedures are explained.
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Forum: this is a link to the course forum. The forum in this course is very active, with TAs constantly monitoring it. Anybody can see it. You must register to post, but anybody can do that, and you don't have to use your real name.
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Calendar: this is a nice application with all the scheduled activities in this course, including classes, sections, office hours, exams and other assignments.
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FAQ: yes, I heard some questions over and over so many times that I always wished I had a Frequently Asked Questions page. Well, now I do.
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Download: this page contains all the downloadable material in this course. If you are a student, you should probably check the announcements page before you get started on an assignment. There are notes, exams and answers, among other cool things.
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Upload: this is where students upload their assignments.
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Contact us: self explanatory. This is the best way to contact me about this course.
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Class Plan

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Announcements

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Forum

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Calendar

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FAQ

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Download

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Upload

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Contact us