In the summary, you summarize your 3 key papers/articles and you analyze some of their strengths and weaknesses.
Make a title page with your name and a title -the simplest title is the economic question you are trying to answer.
An introduction paragraph motivating and stating the principal economic question you are addressing in your review.
A section for each of the 3 key articles you selected- where you provide the following:
a.Complete reference for the article and a web link.
b.Question addressed or hypothesis tested in the article and how it relates to your question in the introduction
c.Details about the data
i.Was it observational data or experimental data? If observational, could it be regarded as using a natural experiment? If experimental, was it a lab, social or field experiment?
ii.Type of data: panel/time series/cross-sectional
iii.Unit of observation: does a data point correspond to a household, a firm, an industry, a province/state, a country, etc
iv.Data source(s). e.g Statistics Canada-Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
v.Years and geographic area
vi.Number of observations
d.Empirical model and estimation methods (e.g. linear model with ordinary least squares, instrumental variables, difference-in-differences, etc).
e.The key results in relation to part b. Note that you must tie the key results to the research question you listed in part b.
f.potential policy implications of these results
g.Explain how the results help to answer your research question (as stated in your introduction). Sometimes the question answered by the article will be exactly the same as the one you are answering-sometimes it will be related but not identical.
h.A few (2 or 3) internal strengths and weaknesses (include your reasoning!)
i.A few (2 or 3) external strengths and weaknesses (include your reasoning!)
Recall that internal strengths and weaknesses refer to whether (or not) the authors’ conclusions are valid for the population from which the sample was drawn to estimate the model. Typical weaknesses include a small sample or an inappropriate model or methods (e.g OLS doesn’t handle omitted variables, simultaneity, or measurement error in the x variables.)
Recall that external strengths and weaknesses refer to whether (or not) the authors’ conclusions are valid for a different population than that from which the sample used to estimate the model was drawn. How old are the data? Would one get the same estimates under current conditions? Would one get the same estimates if the sample came from a different country, province, age group, ethnic group, etc?
Writing and Formatting
The text of your summary (not counting title page) is to be at most 4 printed pages in length. There is only one exception to this page limit: if a paper included in this report was not included in the Proposal- then you must justify how it meets the criteria described in the proposal guidelines. This justification (and nothing else) is to be placed on page 5.
All margins should be set to 2.5cm. Use 12pt fonts and 1.5 line spacing.
Marks will be deducted for poor spelling and grammar. Use a spell check and grammar check and read through your work before submitting it.
In-text citation: Cuff (1998) or Smith, Jones and Barry (2009)
You only need to refer to article page numbers if you are using direct quotes (which must be placed in quotation marks). It is better to AVOID multiple quotes: use your own words rather than quote multiple chunks of text.
A partial list of practices to avoid
Long paragraphs. (Paragraphs are used to indicate a change in topic.)
Contractions (won’t, can’t, etc.)
Frequent use of the first person (I will discuss, I will show, etc.)
Informal or “chatty” style of writing.
YOUR WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS WILL BE CHECKED BY TURNITIN.COM. Turnitin provides a very effective report on the extent to which your text matches the text in journal articles, working papers and other student papers. NOT ONLY OUTRIGHT PLAGIARISM WILL BE PENALIZED. POINTS WILL BE DEDUCTED FOR FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE DIRECT QUOTES TAKEN FROM OTHER SOURCES. We will also be comparing papers submitted in all sections of ECON 4F03 and 4FF3. Please see the Course Outline for further details on Academic Ethics.
McMaster students have free access to an on-line program to help with writing. The user copies and pastes text into the program and receives notification of errors and suggestions for corrections. This program is called Grammarly. To register as a user, go to http://www.grammarly.com/edu/ and click on “Sign Up” at the top of the page
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