Economics 320


Fall 2005


Mike Robinson 

Office:  128 Skinner 538-3085

Office Hours:  MW 9-11  and by appointment.

   (I am usually around so feel free to stop by.)



Text:  Text:  Jeffery M Wooldridge Introductory Economics Thompson 3rd Edition.


Objectives:  This course is an extension of previous work in statistics with emphasis on estimation and statistical inference.  Students will be exposed to econometric theory and applications of econometric techniques.  The classical regression model will be examined along with its problems.  SPSS will be the primary programming language used.  The course goal is for each student to competently employ regression techniques as research tools and to justify and defend the techniques used.


Lab:   Each week a computer lab will be held to aid the students in the use of the computer.  Problem sets to be done in lab will be handed out each Wednesday and due the following Wednesday.  Absolutely no late problem sets will be accepted.  They must be in by class on Wednesday.




Problem Sets (Weekly)


First Mid-term (October 17)


Second Mid-term (November 25)


Final Paper



                                    The above percentages are suggested and will be adjusted to your benefit if necessary.


                                    Attendance (though not counted per se as part of the grade) will be very important! 


Research Paper:            You should select a topic related to some economic issue or problem you have been exposed to in another course and one that interests you.  One idea would be to select a published piece of empirical research and redo the analysis with new data or a slightly different model.  Often authors may be willing to provide you with the data from their study if you write and explain your interest.  An advantage of this approach is the ease with which you can compare your results with those of the original study.  We also have a great deal of data available in the department and the Web is an excellent data source. 

                                    See the libraries guide to resources in economics for data sources.




                                    Another helpful site is


                                    Some example papers can be found at


                                    Consult me if you need help with a topic.


            A one-page report on the topic with bibliography should be handed in before October 24 (Please turn in 2 copies - one for me and one to be returned).  First drafts are due by December 23 and final papers are due by the end of the semester.  Students will be required to present their results in conference format during the final few days of class.  Some extra class sessions may be necessary to provide adequate time for the presentations. Group projects are appropriate and encouraged.


Course outline and Readings                                                                  

Listed below are subjects and corresponding text readings (and a few articles) for the semester



1.  Least Squares and Introduction

Sept. 9

Chapters 1




2. Simple Regression

Sept. 12-14

Chapters 2




3.Multiple Regression inference

Sept 19-21

Chapter 3-4




4.Asymptotic Properties of OLS

Sept. 26

Chapter 5




5.  Model Specification

Sept. 28-Oct. 5

Chapter 6-7-9

Leamer, Edward E. “Lets Take the Con out of Econometrics”, American Economic Review, Vol. 73, No. 1 (March 1983) 31-43.






6.   Heteroscedasticity

Oct. 12

Chapters 8




7.  Time Series

Oct. 17-19

Chapters 10-12

Lieberman, “The Long Run and Short Run Demand for Money” Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 12, February 1980, pp. 43-57.






First Mid-Term

Oct. 21-23.





8.   Advanced Topics-Panel Data

Oct. 24-26

Chapter 13-15




9.  Qualitative Dependent Variables

Oct. 31-Nov. 2

Chapter 17




10. Simultaneous Systems


Chapters 15-16

Evans, Farrelly, and Montgomery, “Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?” American Economic Review (September 1999)






8.  Advance Time Series

Nov. 16-21

Chapter 18




Second Mid-Term

Nov. 28





8.  Advanced Topics

Nov. 30-Dec.5





10.  Student Presentations

Dec. 7-14





11.  Self-Scheduled Final Exam

Exam Period








Date Done/Due Date


Statistics Review

Sept 9/Not Due

Problem Set 1




Lab 1

Sept. 16/Sept. 21

Lab 1



lab1.xls , wages1.xls




Lab 2

Sept. 23/Sept 28

Lab 2



(on ambr/courses)




Lab 3

Sept. 30/ Oct. 5

Lab 3



mhctuition.sav  beauty.sav

Lab 4

Oct. 14/Oct. 19