Economics 191AB: Senior Essay Seminar, Winter and
Office hours Winter and Spring quarters Wednesday
2:00-3:00 or by appointment, in Economics 319
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The only formal requirement of Economics 191AB is to complete a
well-researched 25-35 page essay on an economics topic (approved by the
instructor), by a deadline near the end of Spring Quarter. But
to satisfactorily complete 191A a first draft of the essay must be
turned in near the end of Winter quarter. Often, the first draft
contains the essay's theoretical analysis and a preliminary description
of its empirical content; but other arrangements are possible,
depending on the topic.
Here are examples (pdf files, posted by permission) of
excellent essays by some of your
Your work for Economics 191A can be divided into three parts:
(1) selecting your topic, finding sufficient reference and source material, and writing a short description of your topic, including at least three references
(2) formulating an outline
(3) writing a first draft of your essay
Your work for Economics 191B can also be divided into three parts:
(1) formulating a plan for completing your essay
(2) writing and presenting a first draft of your completed essay
(3) writing a final draft of your completed essay
At the end of each part of Economics 191A or 191B, you will turn in your work product to date. Please provide both an electronic version (preferably .pdf or .txt) and a hard copy in my mailbox.
You should think of 191A's goal not necessarily as completing a rough draft of your full essay, but of making enough progress to write up at least half of it. You are encouraged to give me drafts for comment and ask me questions throughout the quarter, and to come to see me as often as you find it helpful. My office hours both Winter and Spring quarters are W 2:00-3:00 or by appointment.
10: First class meeting, introduction to
choosing an essay topic, finding
references, and research strategies; signups for
presentations on Tuesday and Thursday, January 31 and February 2, and if necessary Tuesday, February 7
Tuesday, January 24 (NO MEETING): Turn in a two-page description of your topic (preferably electronic) with at least three references, by 4 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, January 31 and February 2, and if necessary Tuesday, February 7: Class meetings for short (roughly 10 minutes) presentations and
discussions of your topics
Thursday, February 9 (NO MEETING): Turn in an outline of your essay (preferably electronic) by 4 p.m.
Friday, March 17 (last day of Winter Quarter classes): Turn in the first draft of your essay (preferably both electronic and hard copy) by 4 p.m.
Economics 191B will meet only on the first scheduled day of classes in Spring Quarter. Again, you are encouraged to give me drafts for comment and ask me questions throughout the quarter, and to come to see me (W 2:00-3:00 or by appointment) as often as you find it helpful. The schedule is:
4, 11:00 - 12:20 in Sequoyah 230: Class
on the rest of your essay
Friday, June 9 (last day of Spring Quarter classes): Turn in final draft of your essay (both electronic and hard copy) by 4 p.m.
At the start the main problem is deciding on your topic:
something original, not too small or irrelevant, but not too big and
complicated. Even more important is that the topic should be something
that genuinely interests you, because otherwise you will be very tired
of it by the time you write your final draft! A good topic project
often has two parts,
the first theory and the second empirical. Areas of research can be
in the leading general economics journals and specialty journals, and
publications of the regional Federal Reserve Banks, the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund, the Brookings Institution, environmental
such as Resources for the Future, and so on. A simple, possible
is to take a good paper published six to ten years ago in a good
and ask how well the results hold up now; or to find a good paper based
on one country or data set, and extend it to another country or data
The following books (on reserve in Geisel Library unless
may help suggest topics:
Jacqueline Brux and Janna Cowen, Economic Issues and Policy,
2nd edition, Cincinnati, OH: South-Western College Pub., 2002
Economics (periodical: in Geisel stacks at HC 101 A635), Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 1999-2000.
Edwin Dolan and John Goodman, Economics of Public Policy:
TheMicro View, St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co., 1982
Thomas Swartz and Frank Bonello, editors, Taking Sides:
Clashing Views on Controversial Economic Issues, Guilford, CT:
Steven E. Landsburg, The Armchair Economist: Economics
& Everyday Life, New York: Free Press, 1993
Paul Krugman, The Age of Diminished Expectations, 3rd
edition, Cambridge: MA, MIT Press, 1997
Joseph Stiglitz's and George Akerlof's Nobel lectures (both in
the June 2002 American Economic Review) are helpful (and
inspirational) on how to turn observations about the world into
Computing and information sources
To facilitate communication and gain access to many useful resources, you must get a personal computer account from the Academic Computing Center. If you have any questions, Kimberley Newmark (firstname.lastname@example.org) should be able to help you. This will give you access to the Social Science Database and many useful internet sites, including these. See also the useful links at Harold Colson's (the Economics Librarian at Geisel Library) page, at http://weber.ucsd.edu/~hcolson/econbib.html .
Copyright © Vincent P. Crawford, 2006. All federal and state
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