Capstone: Master’s Project

Capstone: Master’s Project

Required Texts:

Greenlaw, Steven A. 2006. Doing Economics. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Course Requirements:

Grading will be based upon:

Research Paper (75%): Five parts (15% each): Description of Issue and its Importance; Annotated Bibliography/Literature Review; Research Proposal; Final Paper; Executive Summary and Implementation Plan;

Weekly Discussion Board Participation (25%).

Class Method and Objective:

As the Capstone course for the MS in Commerce and Economic Development, this course is designed to motivate and frame the application of economics to the development of business strategy and/or public policy formation: to that end, each student is to delve into economic thought, prepare and present insight in an issue of business and/or social importance. Developing writing skills and critical thinking are important objectives of a course of studies in economics and this course requires each student to prepare and submit one major writing assignment (a term paper prepared in five parts) and to present them to your classmates.

Research Paper:
(My research topic is about the relationship between foreign investment and economic growth in developing countries)

All the red sentences are my own requirements, not from professor. Black are original requirements. My requirements are more specific.

My research question is “How does foreign investment impact the economic growth in developing countries?”
Applying Economic Theory and Analysis to Real-World Issues of Importance

One major term paper (prepared in five parts) is required; due dates are listed below. The term paper is to be constructed in the form of a research proposal with follow-on analysis and presentation of findings. The first part should be two to three pages, typed and double-spaced. It will identify and describe an issue of importance: included in this description is the economic theory composing the issue. The second part (the annotated bibliography/literature review) should present and discuss the important concepts from five to seven sources (from scholarly journals) and how they can be applied to your issue of importance. The third part should be five to seven pages and present a well-defined research question with a clearly defined methodological approach; data sources and necessary empirical approaches should be presented and discussed. The fourth part should pull together the first three parts as well as empirical results into a complete and well-constructed applied economic analysis. The fifth and last part includes the preparation of an Executive Summary to be used as part of an articulated Implementation Plan. All parts must be submitted via Turnitin on Blackboard.

ClassPac Contents

Lewis, Michael. 2004. Moneyball. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company
Pages XI-XV; and, 119-137

Lewis, Michael. 2000. The New New Thing. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Pages 13-16; and, 250-261.

Lewis, Michael. 1987. Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Pages 9; and, 79-102.

*Lewis, Michael. 2010. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.” New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Pages xiii-xviii; and, 160-178.

Abolafia, Mitchel Y. 1996. Making Markets: Opportunism and Restraint on Wall Street. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Pages 1-38.

Schelling, Thomas C. 1984. Choice and Consequences. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Pages 1-26; and, 213-242.

Van Overtvldt, Johan. 2007. The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionized Economics and Business. Chicago: Agate.
Pages 1-17; and 197-238.

Rowley, Charles K. 2005. “An Intellectual History of Law and Economics: 1739-2003” in Parisi, Francesco and Charles K. Rowley, editors. The Origins of Law and Economics: Essays by the Founding Fathers. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Pages 3-33.

Tatalovich, Raymond and Byron W. Daynes, editors. 1988. Social Regulatory Policy: Moral Controversies in American Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press
Pages vii-xxi; 1-4; and 210-224.

Lave, Lester B. 1981. The Strategy of Social Regulation: Decision Frameworks for Policy. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Pages 1-29; and, 118-125.

*Kuttner, Robert. 2007. The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Pages 3-15.

*=Added to Earlier ClassPacs.

Additional Readings

Maskin, Eric. 2008. “Mechanism Design: How to Implement Social Goals.”

Stiglitz, Joesph E. 2001. “Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics.”

Clinton, William J. and Albert Gore, Jr. 1993. “Technology for America’s Economic Growth, A New Direction to Build Economic Strength.”

Term Paper Assignment #1

Introduction: Identifying and Justifying a Research Topic

The goals of this assignment are the selection of a research topic/question for follow-on study and justification of the importance of the study. The assignment should be completed according to the following steps.
My research question is “How does foreign investment impact the economic growth in developing countries?”
Step #1

State the research problem/question. What is the intent of the proposed research? The research question should be formulated with a “how” or “why” question. For example: 1) How do immigrants assimilate into the labor market? Or, 2) How does increased traffic law enforcement decrease fatalities?

Step #2
In three or four double-spaced paragraphs, justify why this is an important topic for research. Envision submitting the idea to a government agency or corporate client for funding. Address the following questions: 1) Why is research necessary on this topic? 2) How will it help policymakers develop good policies or change existing policies? 3) How will it contribute to the growth of scientific knowledge?

Step #3
Write one or two paragraphs describing exactly the goal of the study (What does it to do?). State the research problem from Step #1 at the beginning of the first paragraph. And then clearly state the study objectives.

Step #4
Combine the results of Steps #2 and #3 into a paper format. Join the paragraphs together into a single cogent narrative (“flow like in a paper.”)

Deliverable If you use any statistics or other references, please cite the material (see the format below).

Examples of Bibliographic Citations

1) Journal Article/Newspaper Article

Bruning, Edward R. 1989. “The Relationship Between Profitability and Safety Performance in Trucking Firms.” Transportation Journal. 28(3):40-49.

Choi, Seungmook, Don Hardigree and Paul D. Thistle. 2002. “The Property/Liability Insurance Cycle: A Comparison of Alternative Models.” Southern Economic Journal. 68(3):530-548.

2) Book

Breyer, Stephen. 1993. Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

3) Chapter in a book

Arrow, Kenneth J., Maureen L. Cropper, George C. Eads, et al. 2002. “Is there a Role for Benefit-Cost Analysis in Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulation.” Pp. 153-158 in Lawrence O. Gostin, Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Savage, Ian. 1999. “The Economics of Commercial Transportation Safety.” Pp. 531-562 in Essays in Transportation Economics and Policy. Editors: Jose Gomez-Ibanez, William B. Tye, and Clifford Winston. Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Examples of Citations within a Paper

1) Savage (1999) argues that the socially optimal number of commercial vehicle crashes will exceed the minimum number that is technically feasible.

2) The socially optimal number of commercial vehicle crashes will exceed the minimum number that is technically feasible (Savage 1999).

3) “Risk-related matters that enter the forum of public debate may have to pass political as well as technical tests for safety.” (Breyer 1993:55)

4) According to Breyer (1993:55), “risk-related matters that enter the forum of public debate may have to pass political as well as technical tests for safety.”
Term Paper Assignment #2

Annotated Bibliography/Literature Review
The goals of this assignment are the preparation of two written components of the overall research effort: 1) an annotated bibliography; and, 2) an initial synthesis (“draft”) of the findings from the literature. The process begins with a survey of the scholarly literature in the selected research area: the literature will help conceptualize and operationalize the research question. The scholarly literature can be initially accessed via Google Scholar, but must include searches of EconLit and JStor, as well as other resources accessible via the Libraries.

Part 1
While it is expected that many citations will be considered and included in a “bibliography,” at least five sources should be identified and “annotated” (five to seven is the ideally number for this exercise, but more will help later development of the term paper). Focus on reputable peer-reviewed articles or books (and state your method for determining the quality of each reference) and publications since 2002 (older publications may be definitive, but it important to access the most recent state-of-the-art references). “Annotating” the most relevant publications involves preparing: 1) a brief summary of the publications key points (two to three paragraphs), and 2) a summary of how the publication informs the selected research topic and question. This process is designed to eliminate references that will not be useful.

The format for submission is as follows:

1) Reference #1
a. Brief summary
b. How reference #1 will help YOUR effort

2) Reference #2
a. Brief summary
b. How reference #2 will help YOUR effort

((Continue through reference 5))

Part 2
The Literature Review is a natural extension of the consideration of many references (both those directly related (and hence annotated) and indirectly related to the subject area and the research question. The write-up should link together the published works while identifying commonalities in methods and findings, gaps in analysis and where the research question resides in the literature. This effort should lay the foundation for the follow-on “research proposal.” (See assignment #3)
When you talking about gaps in analysis, you should write but not limited to followings:
-Present competing arguments
-Explain how references explain the relationship between foreign investment and growth rate in developing countries, and competing arguments
-References should be included according to how they inform the research and on a study-by-study basis
Term Paper Assignment #3

Research Proposal

This assignment will require the preparation of two major parts of the final term paper: 1) the theoretical background and hypothesis; and 2) the methodology section.

Background and Hypothesis

Building upon the annotated bibliography and literature review from Assignment #2, this section of the term paper will link the proposed research directly to the existing literature. Theories, explanatory frameworks and/or empirical evidence pertinent to your research question are to be presented: additional sources will be added as appropriate (the final term paper should have ten to 15 courses in total). My research question is “How does foreign investment impact the economic growth in developing countries?”

For the “research proposal,” the following questions need to be considered:

1) What is the theoretical basis for answering the research question? That is, what are the arguments, given the existing theories, about how you key independent variable “X” is associated with the dependent variable “Y”? Each theory should provide an argument about the relationship. If this is not explicit, an extrapolation from theory about how “X” affects “Y” needs to be applied.
(My X is the foreign investment of the developing countries and my Y is economic growth in developing countries, such as GDP)
2) How does the research build upon findings of earlier studies? In discussing how theory relates X to Y, existing studies that reinforce the relationship with theory should be stated. Accordingly, the theory explanation can be placed in a research context.

In constructing the research proposal, at least two theories or two arguments should be made to explain the relationship between Y and X. (Hence, support the theory of interest by eliminating the competing theory of disinterest). With the establishment of the competing theories and/or arguments, the supporting references should be assigned to the appropriate theory/argument (“put into ‘piles’ corresponding to the theories”). Important questions to consider are: what concepts are being used in each theory? What are the results? Do they support the theories? How does the finding of follow-on articles support/refute earlier work?

In drafting the research proposal, briefly summarize competing theories relevant to your argument. Specify major assumptions and key concepts of the theory of interest (the “Y” that explains “X”). With the details assembled, create a section called “Hypotheses.” State at least one hypothesis about the relationship between X and Y for the theory you present. Your hypotheses should follow logically from the description of the theories/literature in the outline.

My hypothesis could be like “more foreign investments make the economic growth rate increase” It just tells you the meaning. Don’t use my poor expression. Make it a more formal hypothesis. You can use your own words.
This par is important.

This section requires the description of the data that will be used to conduct your study, outline the plan to operationalize the variables in the study, and described how to test the hypotheses. Briefly describe the data: what is it? And, how will it be used? What is the unit of analysis? (For example, fatal crash; individual driver) What is the data source? (Be as specific as possible). (For example, you can measure foreign investment in amount of FDI or %FDI or change of %FDI. And you can measure economic growth by GDP, %GDP or change of % GDP).
Write these four part step by step. Be sure to answer each question.
1) If data exist, what was the sampling design for the data? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the data? Are the data limited in terms of the time points at which they were collected? Are they limited by the unit of analysis at which they are available? Be sure to comment on how these strengths/weaknesses will affect the ability to successfully address the research question. (You can choose data from my previous references and from world bank or something like that)

We test the relationship of foreign investment and economic growth based on the equation
Y=C+I+G+NX simply, if I increases, Y will increase as well. But when we doing
Hypothesis testing, we need to control all other independent variables, such as C, G and NX here. To make sure the economic growth is only caused by foreign investment increase.

Don’t forget to create a linear regression function!!!
Next, focus on the variables: identify dependent and independent variable(s). For the dependent variable(s), what concept(s) are being measured? With an existing dataset, state the items/questions from the survey that measure the concept of interest. If new data needs to be collected, state the questions that need to be asked to measure the concept of interest? Identify exactly the data set of origin for the dependent variable(s) and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the operationalization of the dependent variable(s).

3) For the independent variable(s), begin with the key variable(s) (those of greatest interest and which the hypotheses are centered upon). Address the following questions: what concepts are being measured? What questions was being asked when the data were collected? Then discuss the independent variables or “test factors” that need to be controlled for in order to identify the unique effect that the key independent variables have on the dependent variable of interest. Identify exactly the data set of origin for the independent variable(s) and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the operationalization of the independent variable(s).

4) Last, detail the methodology envisioned to test the hypotheses. Described exactly what steps will be taken to determine how each competing hypotheses are supported. Describe the steps of the analysis. It is recommended to prepare DRAFT tables that could be used to present the results of the analysis. Further, it is necessary that the statistical tests to be used as part of the analysis and hypotheses testing are detailed (understanding that the statistical tests can only be finalized as the research is conducted.)

Be sure to make a table to describe variables and data. This table is very important!
You need to include X and Y, definition, unit, references, and data source in the table.

Y1 GDP Y2 GNP X1 C (consumption) X2 I (investment) X3 G (government) X4 NX
The table should like this

Definition Unit References Data Source
Term Paper Assignment #4

Final Report

The goal of the final report is the synthesis and augmentation of the materials written during the seminar into a coherent paper format (assignments #1, #2 and #3) along with the empirical findings of your final research effort. In assembling the final form, all comments should be incorporated and each assignment reconsidered. The following sections should be included:

1) Introduction

-follow the guidelines from assignment #1

2) Theory/Literature Review

-present competing arguments
-explain how references explain the relationship between independent and dependent variables, and competing arguments
-references should be included according to how they inform the research and on a study-by-study basis

3) Hypotheses

-present competing hypotheses
-link directly to section II

4) Data

-the unit of analysis
– data source(s)
-strengths and weaknesses of the data (comment on data validity)

5) Variables/Model

-dependent variable(s)
-key independent variables
-test/control variables

6) Analysis/Findings

-correlation between variables
-explanatory ability of the model
-how results support competing hypotheses
-tables of statistical findings

7) Conclusion

-research objectives, data used, analytical results and significance of the effort

Please use section headings in order to improve the flow of the paper. The final report should be double-spaces and 15-17 pages (excluding references and tables). The final paper should be free of spelling and/or grammatical mistakes.

Term Paper Assignment #5

Executive Summary and Implementation Plan

With the completion of the final report, the goal of this last assignment is developing materials to implement recommendation stemming from your research in an issue in policy or strategy and your findings in the Final Report. In essence, your findings will be taken off the shelf (and out of your Final Report) and a plan to set them into action in government or business. The goal for implementation (for example, put into operation new techniques or technologies to reduce cost or improve service quality) should first be identified and a plan for implementation: a three to five page description should be prepared. Second, the findings of the final report should be incorporated into a three to five page Executive Summary which highlights both the research findings and implementation strategy.

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