Seminar Description

The distinction program is comprised of two courses: ECN 495(Economic Thesis I) and ECN 496(Economic Thesis II), which are scheduled in the fall and spring semesters, respectively.  In ECN 495, students utilize economic theory and statistical principles to formulate a compelling research agenda.  Through general instruction, students review empirical strategies in applied economic research, learn about research tools and data sources available on campus and elsewhere, and develop programming skills for Stata, a software program for statistical analyses.  In more individualized instruction, students narrow the scope of their research question, develop a cogent empirical strategy, and to identify suitable data sources for their projects.  Students will receive regular feedback on their research projects through consultations with the program director and through collaboration with other students.  

Course Requirements

This seminar is designed to meet the specific needs of students and their research projects.  As such, the course must be flexible to address the questions and needs of each student as they arise.  Seminar participants are required to attend class and to participate actively in seminar discussions. A participant must notify the instructor IN ADVANCE if he or she must miss a class for unavoidable reasons. The instructor can always be contacted by email. Unexcused seminar absences will result in a lower course grade.

                Grading Element                                                    Share of Final Grade
                Seminar Assignments and Exercises                                    50%                   
                Project Prospectus                                                                         25%                   
                Seminar Participation                                                                    25%                   

As always, students will be held to the highest standards of academic honesty: For thesis writers, academic honesty issues go beyond the familiar prohibition against cheating on exams and assignments. We will discuss the proper treatment of the words and ideas of others, citation methods, and how to incorporate previous research into our own work while giving credit to the creators of this work.

In compliance with section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Syracuse University is committed to full participation by students with disabilities. If you feel that you need academic accommodations due to a disability, you should immediately register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at 804 University Ave., Room 303, 443-4498 or 443-1371 (TDD only). ODS is the Syracuse University office that authorizes special accommodations for students with disabilities.

Required Materials

We will be reading material from Economics scholarly journals, work in progress, and work by each other. These materials are freely available through the library website or from each other. Accordingly, seminar participants will need access to an Acrobat reader, either on a personal computer or at a campus cluster. Each participant also needs access to PowerPoint, again either on a personal computer or at a campus cluster. We will discuss access to other software as we progress. Participants may be required to buy specialized research tools, such as a manual of style, once we take an inventory of resources students already own.

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