Urban economics paper | ECON 212G | University of Massachusetts

Econ Paper Guidelines

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Topics for this paper should be related to American Community Survey data that you have been exploring on the American Factfinder website.  Examples of topics include how immigration, educational attainment, an aging population, occupational distribution, population density, or poverty influence metropolitan area development.

Duringthe semester, you will submit this paper in five sections. This document is intended to provide you with an overview of this assignment.  I will provide more detail in class about the five sections of this paper.  After you submit each section of this paper, you will not receive a grade but will receive feedback on how to improve your submission. You can revise these sections before you submit your final paper at the end of the semester at which timeit will receive a grade on the paper.

The first section of this paper is the introduction.  In this section, you will provide some background or a problem statement related to the topic of your choice about metropolitan area development and how testing your hypothesis will shed light on this topic.  The American Factfinder assignments that you are completing this semester provides you with data that you can use to complete this paper. Your topic will need to be able to be analyzed using American Community Survey data. This introduction should be no longer than one page.

Next, you will submit a three-page literature review. This literature review will have between three and five citations and will be similar to a paper you have written for your first-year seminar.  This literature review will highlight issues related to your topic. 

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The next two sections will be your data and methods section and results. These are two distinct but related sections. The data and methods section is similar to the road map used to analyze the data to test yourhypothesis. By following this road map, another person could recreate your analysis. In the data and methods section, you first provide an overview of the American Community Survey.  In another paragraph, you will identify the American Factfinder tables that you are using for this analysis and the transformation of the data that you make. You will then identify that you will construct scatter plots with these data to test your hypothesis. In the results section, you will create and interpret the results of the scatterplot (e.g., the percentage foreign bornin metropolitan areas is related to an increase in the regions’ medianhousehold income).  The data and methods section should be one page and the results section should consist of one page for each hypothesis tested.

The last section of the paper is the discussion. It is here that you connect the previous parts of your paper. The results should be discussed in relation to the motivation or problem statement identified in your introduction, the previous research identified in your literature review, and with any policy issues related to this course.

At least one week before each of these sections will be submitted, I will spend class time providing more details onhow to write these sections. Therefore, it is important to be present for these classes.  After providing an overview of this paper assignment after the first exam, I will develop a timeline for submission of the sections of the paper.  The final paper is to be submitted on the last day of class.

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