By the end of the course, you will need to turn a paper in dealing with a topic that you...

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By the end of the course, you will need to turn a paper in dealing with a topic that you will explain through the lens of economics.  You have learned about efficient production with the supply and demand model, market failures, price ceilings and price floors, incentives, property rights, black markets, public choice theory, etc.  These concepts should equip you to explore issues that may be current topics in the news.  For example, you could try to examine how health care reforms are impacting the markets for health insurance.  You could explore a few aspects of the 2,200 page health care law and use economic logic to forecast what the outcome of that law ought to be and then look at empirical data to see if your forecast has come to pass.  If your logic is solid and the empirical data reinforce the logic, economic tools are doing what they are supposed to do.  If your logic is solid, but the empirical data differs from what you have predicted, you can examine your model to see what variables you may have missed that would lead to data different than what you predicted.

As with any paper that follows a scientific model, your paper should follow the following format:

I. Introduction - explain what phenomenon interests you and explain how economic science will shed light on the problem of concern to you.  This is your hypothesis.

II. Explain the methods you will apply to the data to gain understanding about what the data might be telling you.

III. Collect the data and organize it.

IV. Analyze the data.

V. Explain what the data is telling you and explain where this conclusion might lead you as you explore questions in the future.

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