Quantitative Research Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate students’ capacity to apply statistical concepts, tools and methods covered in the course into analyzing a real environment and/or development issue.

The task

Each student is required to carry out a short research analysis on an environment and/or development issue using relevant statistical concepts and tools taught in the course. The structure of the research report is provided below.

For this assignment, students are encouraged to use online public data but not limited to. Here are the links for some good data sources for development and/or environment country-level data http://data.worldbank.org/datacatalog/world-development-indicators (World Bank’s World Development Indicators),http://cid.econ.ucdavis.edu/pwt.html ( Penn World Tables), and http://www.who.int/nutgrowthdb/database/en/ (World Health Organisation’s Global Health Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition).

This assignment requires students to show their mastery of the taught quantitative methods, not to show a lot of originality in the research. So, it is OK for students to base the analysis on an existing published paper with relevant and simple statistical methods using updated data or adding some variables to the analysis as long as the existing paper is properly cited. The standard rules on plagiarism and academic integrity apply.

Structure of the paper

Introduction/literature review. State what the issue is and why it is of interest. Review briefly the existing literature on the topic, especially any paper that you will rely on heavily

Data. Describe the sources of your data including the organization or individual that collected the data and publications it appeared in and URL’s where relevant. Explain what variables you will use in your analysis and why they are relevant.

Descriptive analysis. Present some summary statistics on your variables and discuss what they mean. Present some graphs of the data and explain what we can see in them. You may want to use the graphs to show the relationship between the most relevant variables.

Regression analysis. Carry out a regression analysis relevant to your topic.

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Important things to think about include: whether the variables should be in logarithms or not; making sure economic variables are adjusted for inflation and maybe for purchasing power parity; whether you want to look at the levels of variables or changes over time.

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Explain what the regression analysis tells us.

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As part of your analysis test the effects of adding “explanatory/control variables” to your model. Explain why your results change or do not change.

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Use robust standard errors in your regression

Conclusion. Summarize what you found in the analysis.

References. Students are required in the assignment to reference all words/ideas and opinions of others, using Harvard

What am I expecting?

In your assignment I expect to see:

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an application of quantitative research methods to your data set;

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an explanation of why the chosen variables are relevant to the analysis;

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grounding of the analysis in relevant literature;

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a reasoned and logical interpretation of the data set;

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both descriptive and regression analysis of the data;

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an appropriately structured and written assignment that reflects disciplinary standards.

The maximum length of the assignment is 2,000 words, excluding tables/charts and references. You are to submit your essay through the course site (see submission link that follows).

Finally, students are now penalised  by 5% (of possible assignment marks)  per working day (or part thereof) for late submission.

 

Code: Attach the STATA code you used to generate all the results in the paper.

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