This paper is designed to help you become familiar with a particular data source, and to practice writing on an economic topic described by the data. The goal is to describe the data, compare it to something similar from another place and time, and relate it to relevant economic concepts. You do not need to explain why a particular crisis happened or provide a detailed narrative of the crisis. The paper is about data comparisons. This also means that you do not need to do outside research–just describe what the data tell us and use concepts from class and the readings where appropriate.
The format of each paper is as follows:
· 4-5 pages of text plus relevant charts, double-spaced, using 12 point font.
· No covers or binders.
· You must have at least three graphs and/or tables.
· You must use the database(s) specified for the assignment you choose.
· You do not have to do any outside research—in fact, I prefer that you do not. Just think about the variables and write a short essay using the class readings and lectures, and what you already know about economics.
· Please submit the paper via the Turnitin.com link in Blackboard.
· The normal rules regarding plagiarism will be enforced. That means you earn an zero on the paper if you plagiarize.
· All sources must be cited and a bibliography included at the end.
· Late papers lose a point for every day late.
You will be graded on a 1-10 scale. Points are given for:
1. Following directions;
2. Clear writing free of grammatical or other errors;
3. Inclusion of data in the paper in a way that is useful to your writing and that is readable and clear;
4. A meaningful discussion of the data and concepts.
5. The degree of difficulty of the topic and success in working around data gaps.
Please cite all sources and include a proper bibliography. You may use APA, MLA, or another. (Note that every FRED data series comes with a suggested citation format. You can copy and paste into your paper.) The bibliography counts in your page total but it does not have to be on a separate page.
Options for the paper topic
Option 1: A comparison of the Great Depression and the Subprime Crisis
Use the FRED database to compare the Great Depression to the Subprime Crisis in the United States. You may choose the specific variables to compare, but a meaningful comparison should include:
1. The decline in GDP and GDP growth (real)
2. Unemployment rates.
3. Price changes.
4. Stock prices.
5. Government deficits (as a share of GDP).
The text should highlight important changes in the variables and it should tell a coherent story.
Option 2: The Latin American Debt Crisis.
Select two or three countries from among the following: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela. Compare their experiences during the Latin American Debt Crisis. You must use the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database and FRED for your data. Note that many variables you might want to include are not available due to a variety of record keeping problems. Compare and discuss variables that reflect the major impacts and key indicators of the crisis. (See Chapter 4.)
Option 3: The East Asian Crisis.
Select two or three countries from among the four main countries adversely affected by the Asian Crisis (Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand). Use the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database and/or FRED as your data source(s). Compare and discuss variables that reflect the major impacts and key indicators of the crisis. (See Chapter 5.)
Option 3: The Eurozone Crisis.
Select three or four countries from the Eurozone, including at least one that was hurt badly by the crisis (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain). Use the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database and/or FRED as your data source(s). Compare and discuss variables that reflect the major impacts and key indicators of the crisis. (See Chapter 6.)
Option 4: The Subprime Crisis in the United States and the European Union.
Use the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database and/or FRED as your data source(s). Compare and discuss variables that reflect the major impacts and key indicators of the crisis. (See Chapter 6.) In particular, focus on the duration and depth of the crisis.
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