Eco400  Research Methods

West Chester University

Fall 2010

Dr. Thomas Andrews

313 Anderson Hall


syllabus available online at


This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of econometric concepts and techniques needed in quantitative analysis in economics. This course emphasizes the need to gain an intuitive understanding of the econometric concepts and of their proper applications to real-world economic problems. Computer skills are important and students will be expected to become familiar with statistical programs including SPSS and EViews.


Thomas Andren Econometrics

(Required text will serve as our essential resource)

This free textbook offers a simple survey over the most basic concepts that are studied within introductory courses in econometrics. The theory is clarified with numerous examples.

Subjects as basic probability and statistics, statistical inference with the simple and multiple regression model, dummy variables and auto correlation are explained.

free on bookboon

Statnotes: Topics in Multivariate Analysis, by G. David Garson

StatNotes is a rolling publication which is free for educational use through linking only but copyrighted.

We will use this to supplement the Andren text for Discrete Dependent variables

Free online

Econometrics: a practical approach

 By Hamid Seddighi, K. A. Lawler, Anastasios V. Katos

Recognising the fact that A level mathematics is no longer a necessary prerequisite for economics courses, this text introduces this key subdivision of economics to an audience who might otherwise have been deterred by its complexity.

If you don’t understand something in Andren, you might find a better explanation here

Free on Google books


Bruce E. Hansen

This is a draft of a first-year Ph.D. econometrics textbook.

This is for more advanced usere

Free pdf

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

Course Requirements

Active learning exercises:  This course is HANDS ON.  We will do a problem set virtually every day in class.  Your results will be maintained in a google documents folder that is shared with your professor. (Google docs works best with firefox)  Your results will be graded daily.  We  will do between 10 and 15 problem sets.  Your grade for the problem sets will be based on the percentage of the problem sets you complete.   These problem sets will be assigned and completed in class.  Attendance is required to get credit for these exercises. Combined these will be 60 percent of your grade.  

 Research paper: (40 percent)  Students will be required to complete a research paper.  Two options are available:  One is to extend research already begun by another undergraduate. The other is to begin an entirely new project.   In the project extension model, the student will  update an existing literature review, add to an existing data set by either adding additional variables or observations (or both) and introduce untested functional forms to the analysis.  

New research project will entail a full literature review, collection of  a new data set, and analysis with standard functional forms.  New projects require a substantial commitment on the part of the instructor and the student so will require instructor permission.  If you would like to pursue this option, please arrange to meet with me before the end of the second week of classes.

Projects may be eligible for $500 cash prize.  See WCU student research awards

Attendance:    In addition, students are responsible for all material covered during class. If a class is missed, the material should be obtained from another student.  In the event that a class is canceled by the instructor, you will be notified by a note posted on the classroom door and signed by the department chair. If there is any uncertainty, check with the department secretary in room 309.

Miscellaneous: Office hours are open to all students, for discussion of any topic. No appointment is necessary. If you're not clear on something, or not sure if your not sure - COME SEE ME! also, we at West Chester University wish to make accommodations for persons with disabilities. Please make you needs known by contacting me and/or the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at ext. 3217. Sufficient notice is needed in order to make the accommodations possible. The University desires to comply with the ADA of 1990.”  Disruptive student Policy.




(subject to change)




(Student should be able to)





single variable hypothesis tests

Null and Alternative hypothesis, p-value, significance level, t-statistic, Z-value.

-Formulate null and alternative hypotheses

-calculate descriptive statistics (three number summary)

-Calculate t-statistics/ Z- values   -interpret p-values

Andren Ch 2 pages 26-29

Grade insurance article


Grade data

In-class exercise



Simple Regression Model

Population regression line, slope, intercept, sample regression line, Assumptions, Gauss Markov Theorem

-Understand the assumptions underlying regression analysis

-understand the meaning of BLUE

Andren Ch 3

In-class exercise #2

In class exercise #3



Common Statistics for regression analysis

standard errors, t-statistics, p-values, R-squared, Adjusted R-squared, F-statistic

-conduct appropriate hypothesis tests on regression coefficients

-Interpret R-sq

-Analyze F-statistic

Andren Ch 4.1, 4.2.   Andren Ch 5

Obesity PPT

Obesity Data

Obesity paper




functional form


log linear,


log-log (double log)

missing (omitted)  variable

-Run linear model and interpret

-interpret regression with squared terms.

-run Log linear and interpret

-run log-log and interpret

Inclass exercise #4

Andren CH7

Box office PPT

Box office data

Box office paper



Specification continues



Dummy variables

intercept dummies, slope dummies

Interpret dummy variable coefficients

In-class exercise #5

In-class exercise #6

Andren CH8

NFL ppt

NFL data

NFL paper


10/12 tues fall break



In-class exercise #7

Andren CH9




in-class exercise#8

Andren CH10




in-class exercise #9




Simultaneous Equations

in class exercise#10 Endogeneity



qualitative choice Models


G. David Garson. Logistic Regression 5/20/2010.

GW_Ski ppt

Climate Ski Data

GW Ski paper




11/23 (tg)







Eviews 5.0 guide

EViews 3.1 User's Guide

Interesting Data sites

Run of the mill data

The Pew Internet & American Life Project studies the social impact of the internet, focusing on topics including health, teens, and broadband.

BOWLING ALONE: THE COLLAPSE AND REVIVAL OF AMERICAN COMMUNITY:  In a groundbreaking book based on vast new data, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures-- and how we may reconnect.  Glassdoor is your free inside look at jobs and companies. Salary details, company reviews, and interview questions — all posted anonymously by employees and job seekers.

undergraduate economics research journals

Duke journal of economics

Undergraduate Business and Economics Research Journal (UBER Journal)

Michigan Journal of Business


Other sources for undergraduate research

Issues in political economy

College of New Jersey (Senior Theses)

Undergraduate economic review

Student Economic Review

PIXEL - the Cambridge Undergraduate Journal of Development Economics

Western Undergraduate Economics Review

Professional Journals that accept student work

Journal for economic educators