Introduction to Econometrics
Fall 2016 Online Education
INSTRUCTOR: Mark Thoma
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 541-346-4673
Office: 471 PLC, Office Hours Tuesday 4:00-5:00 pm or by appointment.
A. GENERAL INFORMATION
Online classes are offered for students who are unable to attend regular classes (because of job or other commitments, distance from Eugene, etc.). Also, some students take online classes because they prefer the flexibility that an online class adds to their schedule. The material in online economics classes is the same as that in lecture economics classes, and the exams, all multiple choice, are extremely similar in format and difficulty. However, online classes require more discipline by students than regular classes given the necessity of mastering the material primarily from the textbook and related sources (both offline and online).
Thus, contrary to what many anticipate, online classes are harder, not easier, than lecture classes. To succeed in an online class, you must be extremely motivated and well organized.
Unlike with regular classes, exams for online classes are taken at a day and time chosen by the student, but must be taken by the exam deadline. In addition, a reservation is required to take the exam. It is encouraged that students coordinate their online exams with exams for other classes in order to minimize conflicts and create "space" for exam preparation for each course. Because the exam dates are flexible (subject to the requirement that they meet the deadline), it is not possible for students to obtain a copy of an exam after completing it.
B. EXAMS FOR STUDENTS LIVING IN AND NEAR EUGENE
You will take all your tests at the Social Science Instructional Lab (SSIL) located in McKenzie Hall 445. All tests are given and scheduled by appointment only!
Before you can schedule an exam, you must complete the SSIL on-line introduction by going to: https://distanceeducation.uoregon.edu/ to activate your account. After you complete the introduction, you will activate your account and log in using your DuckID and corresponding password (if you have taken an online course in the past using SSIL, your account should already be activated).
From the SSIL Test Taker Home Page you can make appointments to take tests, cancel appointments, see your test scores, e-mail your professor, and more. You must go through the On-Line introduction before the deadline given at the end of the syllabus. Take the time to read the information under the link, On Campus. If you have further questions about testing, contact: email@example.com.
Important: You must complete the SSIL On-Line Introduction by the deadline.
C. EXAMS FOR STUDENTS WHO DO NOT LIVE NEAR EUGENE
Go to the web site: https://distanceeducation.uoregon.edu/ and click on the Off Campus link at the bottom of the page. Read all the information on the page. Before you can take a test, you must obtain a proctor and have the proctor approved by SSIL. You must do this before the deadline given at the end of the syllabus. The web page describes how to do this. There is a link to proctors used by students in the past under the Remote Proctor sites. These are only locations used in the past. They may no longer be active sites. It is the students responsibility to locate a proctor. Once you have found a proctor, fill out the remote site request form on the web page. SSIL will notify you if the proctor you have chosen is approved. If you have further questions, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Important: you must obtain approval of the proctor by the deadline.
Canvas will be used for communication, quizzes, and review questions. Thus, you need to make sure that you can log on to canvas at https://canvas.uoregon.edu. Your username will be your "official" UO computing center email account address, but without the uoregon.edu at the end, and the corresponding password for that account. If you have problems logging on, make sure you can log on to your official UO email account, since you might have an old password. You can also check your official UO account on Duck Web. If you still have problems, contact the computing center for assistance in 151 McKenzie.
The Canvas address is https://canvas.uoregon.edu.
E. EVIEWS SOFTWARE
We will use EViews to estimate econometric models (you are welcome to use another package if you already have one, but I will only be teaching how to use EViews). A student version can be obtained for $39.95 from here: https://www.eviews.com/general/prices/prices.html (scroll to the bottom of the page for the student version). This will be required to complete the assignments.
F. WEEKLY EMAILS
Emails will be sent weekly to students to provide information on scheduling of exams and the course assignments. It is essential that you receive and read the class emails carefully.
Important: if you do not receive the emails, contact the instructor ASAP, as you are probably not using your computing center email account address!
When emailing, please include EC 320 in the subject line. This helps ensure that I will not overlook your email by accident, and also lets me know what class you are taking.
A. COURSE OVERVIEW
This course provides an introduction to the process and methods of econometrics. Econometrics concerns the use of economic data to estimate economic relationships, to statistically evaluate hypotheses, and to forecast. My goal is for you come away from this course with an understanding of basic econometric methods, as well as an ability to apply them to answer interesting questions.
There are two types of evaluations for determining grades in the class. First, there are two exams, a midterm and a final. There are 35 multiple choice questions on the midterm, and 50 on the final. The midterm is worth 30% of your grade, and the final is worth 40%. The exams will be taken at the Social Science Instructional Lab (unless you do not live near Eugene see above).
Second, there are also seven quizzes which consists of ten multiple-choice questions typical of the type you will see on exams, and six accompanying empirical assignments. You will complete these assignments in Canvas. The lowest score will be dropped (if you miss an assignment and receive a zero, this score will be the one dropped). You will be allowed to take each quiz twice (and retain the highest score of the two), and each empirical assignment five times (again, the highest score is retained). The quizzes will be 15% of your grade, and the empirical assignments will also be worth 15% (so that, together, they are worth 30% of your grade). The review questions are not included in your grade.
The deadlines and grading weights for the exams and assignments and the deadline for completing the "On-Line Test Taker Introduction," are listed below.
Grades in the course will be curved.
C. FOUR IMPORTANT NOTES ON EXAMS, WHICH ARE TAKEN AT SSIL. First, there will be no exceptions to the exam deadlines, and there are no makeup exams. You must take an exam by the day of the deadline to receive credit for the exam. If a substantial emergency arises, you must contact the instructor well in advance of the deadline, and submit formal documentation with phone numbers. Second, exams may be taken before the exam deadline, and a reservation is required to take an exam (in summer, a reservation is still required, but the exam must be taken on a particular day). Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your exams, as testing slots will fill up fast. Third, SSIL's webpage allows you to make appointments for exams two weeks in advance of the deadline, but not before that (do not schedule exams for a time after the deadline even though SSIL's system allows this). Fourth, the exams are closed book and closed notes.
D. THREE IMPORTANT NOTES ON THE ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ARE COMPLETED IN CANVAS. First, analogous to the exams, there will be no exceptions to the assignment deadlines. You must complete each assignment by the day of the deadline to receive credit, but of course you can complete it sooner if you wish. Second, these assignments will be completed in Canvas, and the lowest score of the seven will be dropped. Third, since the purpose of the assignments is to assist in mastering the course material, the assignments are open book and open notes, and you will have two chances on each quiz, five chances on each empirical assignment.
E. TEXT AND OTHER LEARNING SOURCES. In addition to the text, there are also video lectures for each chapter to make it as close as possible to a traditional course.
1. Text: James Stock and Mark Watson, Introduction to Econometrics, 3rd edition, Pearson (Updated). The text should be available at the Bookstore, and it can also be obtained here: https://www.mypearsonstore.com/bookstore/introduction-to-econometrics-update-0133486877 (note that the digital and loose leaf versions are much cheaper, and that we are NOT using MyEconLab).
2. Video Lectures: Video lectures are available in three places. First, at https://economistsview.typepad.com/economics320/. Second, at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUTFo-QOO0FItNf3Bs4mfu30JEozQOMTr. Third, in the "Pages" section of Canvas. If your connection is fast enough, it works best if you play the video full screen (writing on the whiteboard will be much easier to read).
3. Practice Problems for Each Chapter: An extensive set of practice problems is provided for each chapter. The questions are intended to serve as a review -- they cover all of the important topics in each chapter -- and the quiz and exam questions are based upon these questions. (The review questions are in Canvas.)
F. WEEKLY READING LIST FOR TEXT, AND CHAPTER COVERAGE BY ASSIGNMENT AND EXAM. For each chapter, all regular pages are assigned except the appendices. If you schedule an exam prior to the deadline date, you will have to accelerate your study of the material relative to the pace outlined below.
Note: Deadline for SSIL On-Line Introduction: Saturday, October 1
Economic Questions and Data Ch. 1
Review of Probability Ch. 2
Review of Statistics Ch. 3
Deadline for Quiz (Chapters 1, 2, and 3): Sunday, October 9
Linear Regression with One Regressor Ch. 4
Deadline for Quiz and Empirical Assignment: Sunday October 16
Hypothesis Tests and Confidence Intervals Ch. 5
Deadline for Quiz and Empirical Assignment: Sunday, October 23
Monday-Saturday, October 24-29 (You can take it on any one of these days.)
Linear Regression with Multiple Regressors Ch. 6
Deadline for Quiz and Empirical Assignment: Sunday, November 6
Hypothesis Tests and Confidence Intervals Ch. 7
Deadline for Quiz and Empirical Assignment: Wednesday, November 16
Nonlinear Regression Functions Ch. 8
Deadline for Quiz and Empirical Assignment: Sunday, November 27
Assessing Studies Based on Multiple Regression Ch. 9
Deadline for Quiz and Empirical Assignment: Sunday, December 4
Monday, December 5 to Friday, December 9