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Tier III (ECON 350+) Skills List – A Pathway to Econ 384

The following table is meant to guide students on path that leads to the best preparation prior to undertaking the Economics Capstone: ECON 384: Research Project in Economics. 

The final project represents the culmination of several skills that are taught throughout the curriculum.  These skills include: Model/Framework Sequencing, Writing, Synthesizing Literature, Data Acquisition, Connecting Theory to Empirics and Understanding the ‘So What?’.  More details on these elements appear after the table.  Students will use these skills as they put together their ECON 384 projects.

It is not necessarily the case that students will develop all of these skills prior to taking ECON 384, it is hoped that students will choose a variety of ECON 350+ courses that will allow them the opportunity to develop many of the skills needed for a successful ECON 384 experience. 

The following table breaks down current offerings and the skills that they provide.  As faculty change, the department will work to keep this table up to date, but if you have questions about the skills taught, please check with the faculty member who teaches a particular course.  

Model/Framework Sequencing

Writing Economics

Synthesizing the Literature

Data Acquisition

From Theory to Empirics

Understanding the So What?

ECON 350: Econometrics

2

2

3

3

ECON 353: Labor Economics

2

2

2

2

2

X

ECON 359: Environmental Economics and Policy

2

3

3

2

X

ECON 359: Economics of Disasters

2

3

3

X

ECON 359: International Finance and Macroeconomics

3

 

 

2

3

X

ECON 362: Economic Development

1

1

2

2

1

X

ECON 363: Economic Growth

3

X

ECON 364: Dynamic Macroeconomics

3

ECON 373: International Theory and Policy

2

3

3

X

ECON 374: Monetary Theory and Policy

3

1

2

X

ECON 376: Industrial Organization and Public Policy

3

2

2

1

2

X

ECON 379: Welfare Economics and Public Policy Analysis

2

3

3

X

Gradient Rubric:

Below is a detailed explanation of the skills and numbers in the table above.
 

Model/Framework Sequencing

Analyze relevant economic models to explain and evaluate economic phenomena.
Level 1: Class uses relevant economic models which involve relatively little math
Level 2: Class uses relevant economic models which involve graphical analysis and some calculus
Level 3: Class uses relevant economic models which involves heavy use of calculus

 

Writing Economics

Students acquire the ability to write in a tone and language appropriate for writing in the field of economics. 
Level 1:  Written assignments represent a graded component of the class.
Level 2:  Written assignments are designed to occur in sequence to improve students’ ability to write and increase their familiarity with writing a paper in the field of economics.
Level 3:  Written assignments are designed to occur in sequence to improve students’ ability to write and increase their familiarity with writing a paper in the field of economics.  Students also have the ability to rewrite their assignments.

 

Synthesizing the Literature

Students to familiarize themselves with economic literature and are able to synthesize the literature into a review. 
Level 1:  Students are asked to read non-scholarly articles and write response papers which incorporates class material
Level 2:  Students are asked to read scholarly articles and write response/summary papers that incorporate class material and may include a final assignment that incorporates some synthesis of scholarly work
Level 3:  Students are asked to read as well as search for scholarly articles of their choosing and write a literature review that synthesizes the material from several of these articles.

 

Data Acquisition

Students become comfortable with searching for, collecting, and organizing data. 
Level 1: Students work with real-world data that is given to them in the class.
Level 2: Students work with real-world data that they collect from professor specified locations as part of the class.
Level 3: Students work with real-world data that they independently collect data.

 

From Theory to Empirics

Students can connect economic theory with empirical methods and data.  Class might include assignments in which the students conduct active data work (through Excel, STATA, etc…), or the class could include a project in which students incorporate real world data.
Level 1:  Students connect economic theory by using basic calculations and graphing techniques (such as a scatterplot)
Level 2:  Students connect economic theory with specific econometric techniques which are assigned as part of class.
Level 3:  Students connect economic theory with statistical methods as part of a self-driven project or paper.

 

Understanding the So What?

Students will be able to connect economic models to issues of concern to a broader audience (policy makers, the public, businesses, et cetera).