Economics 706 Fall 2017

Research Paper

Professors Hansen, Mommaerts, Taber



All students will write a research paper. Students can work in teams of 1, 2, or 3.

For most students, the paper should be closely related to a published research paper. It can either be an extension of that paper, or a similar application using a different data set. In some cases, we will allow original research papers, but you will need permission ahead of time to ensure feasibility.

Students will first submit a proposal (see below). Based on the proposal you will be assigned to one of the three faculty teaching the course. This faculty member will serve as your advisor on the project.

Important dates:

                Proposal due date:          October 19, 2017             

                Paper due date:                December 21, 2017



For computational advice, you should first meet with one of the two course TAs.


For research advice, you should meet with your assigned faculty advisor. Since such meetings can be lengthy they will be held outside of regular office hours, by appointment.



Your proposal should be a one-page description of your proposed research project. You should describe your problem or question, the paper or papers on which your project is based, the data you will use to answer the question, and possibly the econometric methodology.


The most critical issue for a successful project is data. Many excellent ideas are infeasible projects as the needed data is not readily available. In your proposal, you should be as specific as possible about the data source, availability, which variables are measured, and sample size. Ideally you will have the data in hand at the time you turn in the proposal.  One warning, many data sets have public use versions which are easy to get and restricted versions that take more time. You should verify that the variables you need are available in the public use version.


Letters of Recommendation:

If you are asking for a letter of recommendation, the paper should be submitted at least 10 days before the letter of recommendation is due, to allow your faculty advisor to read your paper and prepare your recommendation letter. You may submit a revised version of your paper at the due date if you wish.


Contact info

Bruce Hansen          

Corina Mommaerts

Chris Taber