EC 381 -- Introduction to Econometrics
(Last taught Fall, 1998)
Eric A. Schutz
Cornell Social Sciences #259
phone x-2509; fax x-2485)
The set of statistical tools most
extensively used in empirical economic analysis today is known
as "econometrics". It is based primarily on regression
analysis, which includes all the various methods of finding
and evaluating the "best fitting line" showing the relationship
between data on one measured variable and data on one or more
others. The kinds of relationships investigated are, of course,
those having to do with economic activity -- for example, between
aggregate annual consumption expenditures and disposeable income;
or wage-rates, unionization-rates, and unemployment-rates; or
industry concentration-ratios and profit-rates.
Econometrics is the bedrock of economics as a "hard
science". That is, most of what is widely accepted as "fact"
in economics has assumed that status by having been subjected
at some point to econometric analysis. And most of the important
issues that are still unresolved in economics remain so at least
partly because of certain fundamental and unavoidable ambiguities
found in econometric techniquess. In this course, you will be
provided with a very powerful set of tools for economic and other
similar investigation, and you will be familiarized with the many
limitations of those tools.
Classes in this course will typically involve explication
or review of topics covered in the current readings, PC-lab use
or in-class demonstration of computer-use, discussion of homework
assignments, etc. Class attendance is not required, but
it is very strongly recommended that you attend all classes and
make a commitment to regular and concientious study: if you will
simply do this, you will not find the course excessively difficult
(intimidating though the subject may appear to you now!).
Late work turned in without good mitigating
reason will be given a reduced grade accordingly. If you must
turn in an assignment late or make up an exam later, see me and
we can make arrangements.
Course grades will be determined by your work on (a)
three in-class exams (as scheduled below), (b) six or seven homework
assignments, (c) a small "investigative" term paper
and brief oral report in class, and (d) other small assignments
in- or out-of-class.
TEXT: Pindyck & Rubinfeld,
Econometric Models and Economic Forecasts (4th Ed.)