How does fertility rates influence long run economic growth
Economists solve complex problems that often require working in team to bring together different
skill sets and to complete tasks in a timely way. With this in mind throughout the term you will
work as a group, with me one-on-one and alone on your individual research project.
Topic: How does fertility rates influence economic growth in the long run
Stages of the project will be submitted according to the following schedule:
Stage One – October 1st
Stage Two – October 17th
Stage Three – October 24th
Stage Four – November 7th
Stage Five – November 14th
Stage Six – November 21th
Final Paper – December 1st
Each individual stage will be submitted to Turnitin.com and the checklist to accompany the stage
will be submitted during the lecture.
At the end of the term all stages will be revised, packaged together as a uniform paper and
submitted both in hardcopy and to turnitin.com. Please submit all written text in one and one half
spaced lines, 12-point font with 2.5 cm margins. Your bibliography will be MLA 7th Edition and
must be formatted using Refworks. Every stage should include a bibliography citing sourced
material. Please do not include a title page on individual stages but do make sure to include your
name and a title for the project. Each stage should also include your thesis statement clearly stated
and underlined at the top of the page.
Please submit a 300 to 500 word introduction to a topic that you would like to address. Your topic
should pose a specific question based on research found in the economics literature that can be
addressed using the analytic and statistical tools available to economists. For example you might
pose a question such as: “How does a countries geography relate to its rate of growth over the long
run?” In your introduction you should discuss why you think your question is an important one
and hypothesize your results. State your thesis clearly in this and every subsequent stage. Include a
bibliography that includes at least four references to the literature you will be using to support your
project (in Stage Two) to receive feedback at this stage on those choices.
Please submit a 750 to 1000 word review of the existing literature in the area you have chosen to
explore. You must discuss at least three papers and answer the question: How does the author test
his / her theory and what are the results? Papers must be drawn from the economics literature (i.e.
must be either published in an economics journal or be available from a well established working
paper series such as the NBER). Unpublished papers, papers from non-economics journals, letters,
newspaper articles etc. are not appropriate sources. If you have any doubts about your choice of
papers please check with me before writing your review. The librarian for the economics is
available to give you some guidance on using the university resources to find papers. I will be
conducting a class on using Refworks early in the term to help you properly cite these papers.
Describe the data you will be using in your analysis in 500 to 750 words and include a chart that
summarizes the moments of the key data (i.e. the mean, standard deviation, max, min and number
of observations). This section must clearly cite the source of each variable and explain any
manipulations that have been made to the data (for example, if the savings rate was calculated
using the consumption rate). You must also clearly state the relationships you predict to see in the
data. This will be explained to you in class before this stage is due.
This is the empirical component of your paper in which you use the data discussed in Stage Three
to test your hypothesis. We will spend many, many classes preparing for this stage and some time
in a lab working with Excel in preparation. The work you submit at this stage will of an Excel file
with a graph plotting your results and the appropriate tests (heteroscedasticity and
In this stage you will present and discuss the results of your empirical test in 500 to 750 words. You
will answer the questions: Does your analysis support your hypothesis or refute it? And in what
ways could the analysis be improved with better data? In this section must provide at least one
sentence that states your results in a meaningful way for your reader. Using the example give
above you might write: “Countries that are ## degrees closer to the equator grew ##% more slowly
over the last 200 years”. In this stage you must also include a properly formatted table that reports
your results and their statistical significance. The format for this table will be given in class.
This stage is a 300 to 400 word conclusion to your paper. State your original thesis (Stage One),
summarize your statistical findings (Stage Four and Five) and discuss how your findings are
situated in the current literature (Stage Two) and how your work has advanced our state of
knowledge on this topic.
The final project, to be submitted to me, will be all six stages, revised as necessary, submitted to me
as a unified package. Please include a title page at this stage only. There should be only one
bibliography at the end of the final project.