Econometrics

The following is copy and pasted from a document. I only need the Final Draft but the instructions for the two assignments before it might help with writing the final draft.

Fundamentals of Econometrics: Empirical Paper
Economics 253 – Spring 2020 Adam Biener
As we have discussed, econometrics in practice encompasses the entire research cycle,
• Forming a research question
• Acquiring and cleaning data
• Choosing an appropriate model/experiment
• Performing analysis with statistical software
• Presenting your findings accurately and clearly
Throughout the course we will learn the knowledge and skills needed to do each of the above steps,
however, the empirical paper is your opportunity to practice all of above skills in the way you would
use them on the job. The structure of this assignment is designed to mimic a research contract
with an explicit delivery schedule (the due dates of each part of the assignment), and an emphasis
on clear presentation that can be understood by a general audience.
Proposal
Due March 13th
The proposal is a one page description of your research question, and must contain evidence that
your project is feasible. The proposal must contain the following:
• Clearly stated research question. For example, ”I want to determine whether uninsured
people were more likely to see a doctor after they became eligible for Medicaid under the
Affordable Care Act.” A well formed research question will articulate the dependent variable
of interest (whether they saw a doctor), The independent variable of interest (eligible for
Medicaid), and the population being studied (uninsured Americans). You must motivate
your research question with some answer to the question ”why should I care what you find?”
• Initial literature review. For your proposal, you are required to cite at least one paper/publication/article that helps motivate your study. This can be an academic paper that
used the same data to answer a similar question, or a press article that motivates your research
question. Any motivation or context for your topic must build off of prior literature.
• A description of the data being used. You must provide the name of the dataset and who
collected/compiled the data. If there are multiple sources of data, or data you will collect,
you need to outline each source and how they are going to be linked together.
• An explanation of the econometric model you intend to use. You need to explain
very clearly how putting the data in your model will produce an estimate that will answer
the research question. It is preferred, though not required, that you provide an equation for
your model. You must specify how your model will be estimated (e.g. OLS, logit), and what
your identification strategy is (e.g. linear probability model, difference-in-differences).
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The proposal is evaluated on two dimensions: completeness (did you provide all of the above
information) and feasibility (is your project something you can finish successfully in the time
allotted). If I deem a project unfeasible, I will allow a resubmission, and will provide guidance on
how to overcome limitations of the first proposal. Critical comparison of alternative techniques on
a particular specification, and/or presentation of a number of alternative specifications against a
particular benchmark (such as a set of nested hypotheses) are allowable topics.
Preliminary Findings
Due April 6th
In practice, research contracts will have scheduled delivery of preliminary, or early, findings. These
are used to make adjustments to the research plan if needed and to test whether it is possible to
finish the project on schedule. Even among academic co-authors, writing up preliminary findings
can be useful for conference presentations, or to highlight problems early so they can be addressed
sooner rather than later. Your second delivery is a short write up of your preliminary findings.
Your preliminary findings have no page limit, and must include:
• A restatement of your research question. I am looking to see how your research question
has evolved from my feedback on your proposal. Only copy and paste here if I made no
comments!
• A brief restatement of the data. Tables of estimates or statistics should never be presented without some citation of the data source. Be sure to elaborate if data sources have
changed since the proposal.
• An explanation of the econometric model you used. Again, an equation is preferred,
and you should explain clearly how you estimated your model, and what your identification
strategy is.
• A table of summary statistics. A good table of summary statistics will have mean,
standard deviation, minimum and maximum values for all variables used in the analysis.
Additionally, the table should be able to show the sample size for at least the largest sample
analyzed.
• Tables of preliminary results. Tables of regression output are rarely as detailed as those
in STATA, and only require estimates for variables of interest, standard errors, some indicator
of statistical significance, and the sample size for every estimate. Additionally, write up an
explanation of how you interpret your preliminary findings.
• Next steps. Your preliminary analysis does not need to be perfect, or even use the method
you will use in your final paper. You must at least say how, having seen the preliminary
results, you plan to move forward with the final analysis.
The preliminary results are not a final delivery, which means your prose can be more causal, and
there are no formatting requirements. However this is still a delivery, and presentation matters!
For example, screenshots or copy and paste version of STATA output in paper drafts are considered
poor presentation. Make your own tables and get creative!
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Final Draft
Due May 8th
The final paper draft is the final presentation of your work. Thus, it is your responsibility to
ensure your work is easy to understand through clear explanation and polished formatting and
presentation. The format for the final paper is similar to that of an academic journal article, but
will also mimic a final report often presented to clients who fund research. This style of writing up
your work will always be acceptable in an academic, or industry environment. The format for the
paper is as follows:
• Title. All academic papers need titles. These are often more advertisements for why a paper
is interesting, and need not be a literal description of the paper. Get creative!
• Abstract/Executive Summary. This is a brief summary of your papers research question,
data, method, and findings. It does not contain references to other articles unless absolutely
necessary. It is limited to 100 words or less. Often, the abstract is the last part of the paper
written.
• Introduction. A brief introduction explains the research question, and its motivation. Why
is your topic important? Why should I care?
• Literature Review. Make reference to the previous literature on this topic and state both
what previous literature has found and how your work contributes to that literature. A
literature review is an organized and synthesized summary of a number of academic articles
related to a chosen topic. A literature review should not be a series of smaller summaries
of each separate article. Rather what you want to do is to find common themes throughout
the articles, identify areas of controversy, and possibly, formulate questions that need further
research. You are building an account of what has been published by researchers. You must
have at least three sources. It is allowable to combine your introduction and literature
review into a single section if this improves the flow of your paper, but all parts of the
introduction and literature review must be included.
• Methods. The methods section explains your theoretical model, explains clearly how you
estimated your model, and what your identification strategy is. You should again articulate
the hypothesized cause-and-effect relationship between the independent variable(s) of interest
and the dependent variable. Explain your other control variables and how they contribute to
your identification strategy. If you have made any deliberate decisions about how to specify
your model (interaction terms, categorical variables, etc.) You should defend your choices
here.
• Data. You must provide the name of the dataset and who collected/compiled the data. If
there are multiple sources of data, or data you collected, you need to outline each source,
and how they are were linked together. Discuss how you chose your analytical sample and
in what sense your data are a random sample from a population. You should briefly discuss
how your dependent and independent variables of interest are collected in the data.
• Results. All results, even descriptive statistics should only be presented in the results section.
Thus, this section should have at minimum two tables. A table of descriptive statistics, akin
to the table in your preliminary report, and at least one table of estimation results. Here, you
interpret the significance, sign and magnitude of your estimated coefficients on variables of
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interest. If findings are contrary to their hypothesized significance, sign or magnitude, note
this clearly. In addition, provide any evidence supporting your choice of a specific model or
specification. For example, if using a log-linear model, show how the dependent variable is
log-normally distributed. If using a difference-in-differences identification strategy, consider
a figure showing the trends in the dependent variable for the treatment and control groups.
If you omitted influential outliers, perhaps a histogram or residual plot can be used to defend
omitting them. Any other tests, models, or figures that support your methods and conclusion
should be included and discussed in this section. You have a license to be creative in your
exploration here!
• Conclusion. Provide a brief summary (include a statement about your question of interest)
and assessment of the models. Explain how your variable(s) of interest worked out and/or did
not work out. Interpret the significance, sign and magnitude(s) of the estimated variable(s)
of interest. Make a conclusion about the answer to your research question given your findings
and offer reasons, if possible, for the results that did not work out. Include business or
government policy recommendations if appropriate, or suggestions for further research.
• References. The format for your references is: Author. Year. “Title of article.” Source.
For example,
Athey, Susan, and Guido Imbens. 2015. “A Measure of Robustness to Misspecification.” American Economic Review 105(5):476-80.
Inline citations should only reference the authors and year,
… as shown by Athey and Imbens (2015), econometric models…
When supporting a claim, append the cite to the end of the sentence in parentheses.
…are robust to misspecification (Athey and Imbens, 2015).
• Appendices. Increasingly there is an emphasis on transparency in econometric research,
and it is not unusual to supply data and code to enable other researchers to replicate your
findings. You are required to provide the following appendices,
– Appendix A: STATA output and do file. You have an incentive to make your do
file as concise and organized as possible. Comments embedded in your code is good
practice, and can make it easier for others to understand your methods. STATA output
should be unadulterated, and there is no limit on length. A do file must be able to run
from start to finish without errors.
– Appendix B: Data. Provide full bibliographic details on each dataset and variable of
interest you used. I need to be able to find your data myself so that with the data I
could replicate your results with your attached do-file.
Presentation is an essential component of doing research. Different journals, institutions or projects
may have very different style guidelines. In a contract setting, the researchers are often given
significant leeway in how to arrange and present their findings. To mimic the latter setting there
are not very specific formatting requirements, though some useful guidelines are included here.
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• Your paper should have a cover page that includes the title, your name, and your abstract.
• Use page numbers.
• The only STATA output that is acceptable to copy and paste into your paper are figures or
graphs. You must make your own tables. Please keep formatting decisions (font, spacing,
titles and table notes) consistent across your tables. Every table should have table notes, so
that a reader can understand the content of the table without referring to the text.
• Use whatever means you can to provide a clear structure to the paper. Headings and subheadings are very useful (and something that you will observe in the papers that you read for
this assignment). Anything that you can do to make the structure of your paper and your
argument easier to follow, the more effectively you will convey your message.
• It is important that your writing is clear and concise. I (and your future bosses) will not
be impressed by fancy language that hides poor reasoning. Clear writing is a job skill that
commands a high premium.
• Your paper should be largely free of grammatical and spelling errors (no one is perfect!). If
you are a non-native speaker of English, you may wish to see a writing associate or have a
friend who help you edit your paper. Grammar counts. I encourage you to trade papers with
your peers and proofread them. This will be one of the most productive things you can do
for your paper!
Academic Honesty
Cases of academic dishonesty will be dealt with according to College policy. College policies are
clearly detailed in the Student Handbook. All intellectual work builds on the ideas of others; it
is very important to provide appropriate references to the sources you consult, whether they are
paraphrased or quoted directly.

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