Monthly Archives: January 2012

Food prices

As a follow-up to last week’s blogging and discussion on hunger-based poverty traps, I thought I would point out this blog post by Duke University professor, Marc Bellemare. Prof. Bellemare does research on agriculture and food price volatility. This is also relevant to a few conversations we’ve had in office hours over the last week.

Enjoy!

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Publicly Available Data Sources

As you all know, your topic, thesis statement, and data set are due on Friday, February 10. For those of you who haven’t come to talk to me, I suggest you do so soon.

Regardless, I thought I would suggest here some publicly available data sets that might be useful for different micro and macro types of questions. If you have a data set that you think would be useful, please post in the comments here and I will add it to the list on the sidebar.

You can find the list I’ve started in the first sidebar under “Data Sources.”

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Writing/Blogging Assignment #2

Carefully read Chapter 3 of Poor Economics by Banerjee and Duflo.  Address the following questions in a clear, concise, organized manner. Make sure to include an introduction and conclusion. This blog post is due on Friday, February 3

  1. Summarize the argument or thesis of the chapter.
  2. Pick out a relevant statistic in the chapter
    • How do the authors introduce the statistic?
    • How do they use the statistic to reinforce the basic thesis of the chapter?
    • What questions do you have about the statistic? Is it realistic? What is missing? Are there alternative interpretations?

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Writing/Blogging Assignment #1

Carefully read Chapter 2 of Poor Economics by Banerjee and Duflo.  Address the following questions in a concise, organized manner. Make sure to include an introduction, body, and conclusion. This post is due on Friday, January 27.

  1. Summarize the argument or thesis of the chapter.
  2. Choose one of the following three questions to expand your blog post. Use the bulleted points below to guide your writing.

Possible questions:

  1. Find the place on page 26 where the authors state the percentage of people in the world who do not have enough food. What does this statement mean? What does it hide?
    • How do the authors introduce the statistic?
    • How do they use the statistic to reinforce the basic thesis of the chapter?
    • What questions do you have about the statistic? Is it realistic? What is missing? Are there alternative interpretations?
  2. What is a hunger-based poverty trap? How do the authors use statistics to show its existence? Do you believe them?
  3. What do the authors claim about share of the household budget devoted to food?
    • How do the authors introduce the statistic?
    • How do they use the statistic to reinforce the basic thesis of the chapter?
    • What questions do you have about the statistic? Is it realistic? What is missing? Are there alternative interpretations?

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Welcome to Economics 350

Welcome to Economics 350 at Gettysburg College, taught by Professor E.K. Fletcher. This semester, we will be exploring and reviewing statistics, hypothesis testing, simple regression, and how to write a research paper.

A big part of doing research, academic or otherwise, is to keep a record of what you read and write. Each of you will be creating and maintaining your own blog about economics, this class, and your research. You should see your blog as an online journal, where you keep track of new ideas, thoughts about research and class topics, a place to link to interesting material, and more.

Some notes:

  • You should subscribe to this blog (and any others you find interesting!)
  • If your blog is on wordpress.com, you can subscribe using the follow button or the RSS feed button, but make sure you subscribe!
  • You can follow me on twitter at @ekfletch
  • When I tweet about this class, I will use the hashtag #GburgEcon350
  • If you are on twitter, let me and others know, use the hashtag when you think something is relevant to other students
  • Please send me your blog name as soon as possible, when I have them all, I will set up a list on the side with all of your classmates’ blogs
  • You are required to post on your blog once a week and comment on at least one other student blog once a week. Do this by Friday class time each week. See the far-right sidebar under “Section A” or “Section B” for other blogs from students in your class.
  • Posting and commenting will constitute part of your “problem sets” grade
  • If you’re struggling with any part of the blog, please let me know, stop by office hours or shoot me an email

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