Course Number: Econ 423-01, 623-01
TR 3:30-4:45PM
Tilton 301

Tulane University
Spring 2007
  Myeong-Su Yun


Econometrics

Spring 2007
updated February 15 2006 

* No class on February 22, 2006 (Thursday).

Notice - Department of Economics Web Site: The Department of Economics maintains a comprehensive web site at http://www.tulane.edu/~economic/ . This should be your first stop for all your economics inquiries. On the web site you will find information about the major, the faculty, and internet resources in economics.  Other important links are Economics Research Resource Guide  ( http://www.tulane.edu/~html/econ.htm ) and   Social Science Indexes and Abstracts ( ) where you can find various sources of study including Econlit , a comprehensive listing of articles in economics, the Social Science Citation Index,  and Statistical Universe.  The web site for this class can be accessed at http://www.tulane.edu/~msyun .

Course Description: This class provides both theoretical and practical tools for applying economic theory and models to real economic data.   We use statistical tools to answer "how much" type questions; by doing so, we are able to confirm or refute whether the economic theory or model actually operates in real world.  By the end of this class you should have a solid understanding of many (not all!) important concepts and theories in econometrics.  Also, you should have a command of the statistical tools and be able to do independent research using economic data.

Prerequisite: Economics 323 or Math 301. These prerequisites are taken seriously and you are expected to have a  command over this material.  A firm knowledge of algebra and basic calculus such as differentiation greatly improves the odds for successful completion of this course.

Office Hours: TR 2-3:00PM or by appointment. Room: Tilton Hall 310, 862-8356.   My email address is msyun@tulane.edu .

Readings: The following should be available at the bookstore:

R. Carter Hill, William E. Griffiths and George G. Judge, Undergraduate Econometrics (2nd Edition), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2001.

The text above is one of the best on the market. I will follow the text closely.  However, I may lecture on some things that are not in the text.  The text should be viewed as a complement to the lectures, not a substitute. You are responsible for the material in the texts and in the lectures. I make every effort to have class attendance a necessary (though not sufficient) factor in performing well on examinations. Note that I have deliberately kept the amount of reading down. This is because I expect you to read and thoroughly understand all the material in the text.

Online Study Resources: An online study tools are available at http://wiley.com/college/econ/hill331848/students.html .  Data, SAS handouts and useful links are available there.  You should make use of this site.

Statistical Program: You may use any statistical packag to do the homeworks and a research paper (MA students only).  You may go to the computer lab in Richardson Building.  The computer lab has PC version SAS and SPSS.  You can also use statistical programs in UNIX server (rs6000.tcs.tulane.edu).  Online SAS documentation is available at http://www.tulane.edu/~sasdocs/sashtml/onldoc.htm (Firefox works, IE may not).   Short introductions to statistical packages (SAS, SPSS, Limdep, S-Plus and Minitab) are available from http://tis.tulane.edu/How_To/Unix_System/index.cfm .  Economics Department also maintains a computer lab which has STATA.   

Homework: Due to the nature of the course, homework assignments are necessary to enhance your understanding of the material covered in class.  Several assignments will be handed out.  The assignments will ask you to (1) work through some statistical theory and /or (2) estimate economic models given a data set with your choice of statistical tools.  

Paper (MA students ONLY): One major goal of this course is to provide you with skills and knowledge of both the theory and the practical tools necessary to start your own research.  The best way to achieve this goal is to write an original research paper.  The paper is due on the last lecture day, April 26, 2007.    On April 26, 2007, (MA) students will present his/her paper.  Each presentation will take about ten minutes. The presentation will talk about reasons why you chose the topic, economic model, econometrics specification, data and empirical finding.  To avoid last minute chaos, a proposal (two pages long) is required by March 15, 2007.  The proposal should include why the topic is interesting, how you will obtain data, and how you estimate equations of interest.  The term paper should not be taken lightly.  The starting point is finding what interesting topic is; you may have glance over titles of articles in top notch journals (e.g., American Economic Review) or search Econlit.

Lecture Topics: The following is a list of chapters which will be covered in this class. On some I will go into great detail, others I will but mention in passing.

Examinations: There are three examinations. All three exams are open-book and open-note exams.  The following table summarizes the time and dates.

Midterm Exam 1 Thursday, March 1, 2007 Topic 1, 2 and 3 25% 
Midterm Exam 2
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Topic 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
25%
Final Exam  Friday, May 4, 2007 (1-4PM)  Topic 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (others if time allows)  45% 
Research Paper (MA Students ONLY) Proposal Due Date:  Thursday, March 15  Presentation and Submission Date: Thursday, April 26  25% 
Homework      5% 

Note:  I reserve the right to alter this schedule during the semester. All exams are cumulative. Of course, new material covered since the last exam (in bold letter) will be emphasized, but you are responsible for all the material.

Makeup Policy:  Students who simply do not show up for exams should not expect to be given a makeup.  You should present a valid documentation in order to avoid receiving zero point on the missing exam.

There are no extra-credit assignments. There is no way to ex post improve your grade on an examination. Plan to do well on the required material.

Some Warnings, Advice and Hints:

1. If you are having problems, please seek out help early. Come in prepared, having gone over the lectures, text, and problems in the text. If you have missed any classes, make sure you have gotten the missed notes from classmates. In cases like this, it usually pays to get the notes from at least two of your class mates.
2. Some students slack off. Econometrics is very demanding a course even though I keep the coverage to minimal. The only way to learn it is to keep going over it, work the problems in your text, and  THINK about what you are doing at each step. I suggest that you first read through the entire book. This will help you to begin to think about econometrics. Go over the lectures and think about what problems I raise and what problems are raised in the book. Furthermore, let me urge you to read as much of the material as possible early on in the course. You will find this will help you develop a perspective on the course material and lead to a better understanding of econometrics.  Also it is essential to have a command of the statistical package(s) to complete this course successfully.  Be familiar with the program(s) as soon as possible.  Knowledge on statistical package(s) will not only help your homeworks and the research paper during this semester but also your future job search or higher education in graduate or professional schools.
3. Do not wait until after I have lectured on something to read the material work on it yourself. Come to class  prepared!
4. The emphasis in this class is on developing your ability to apply analytical techniques and on your understanding of fundamental concepts. Exams will emphasize this.  They will assume you have a complete understanding of the lectures, text and study guide, and will ask you to apply what you have learned to "new" circumstances.
5. The course material builds on earlier work. It is essential that you master every part of the material. I will integrate the material as we go along, but you will be ahead of the game if you make extended efforts to learn and integrate it yourself.