EC 381 -- Introduction to Econometrics
(Last taught Fall, 1998)

Eric A. Schutz
Cornell Social Sciences #259

(SCHUTZ@ROLLINS.EDU; 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.)