University of Maryland, Department of economics
Master of Professional Studies in Applied Economics
ECON 644: Empirical Analysis II (Introduction to Economic Models)
Term Project Instruction
This short instruction provides some basic rules for the term project. I will explain the goal in class and
revise this document based on questions you ask about the project. So please stop by and ask questions!
As stated in the program’s website, our program intends to train “professionals who can analyze and
interpret sophisticated economic data and intelligently apply economic theory.” One way to practice
such analyses is to replicate a research and write a short version of a published paper.
The two Appendices explain the concept of replicability and introduce some journals that publish data
Your final draft should have all the components of a standard research paper. The structure and the
format of the paper should be similar to working papers or published papers.
The components of a standard paper ae:
• Title page
• Summary (No copy and paste!)
• Introduction (explain the main question, why the question is important, a short literature review
related to the main question, and what makes your research distinct from literature.)
• Data and descriptive statistics (introduce the data and describe the main variables numerically
and graphically. This part in your paper should be more than regular published papers, because
a big part of the course is about working with data)
• Empirical analysis (explain the method, show the regression results, and explain them. I expect
this part to contain some graphical presentation of results before getting into regressions. Some
published papers do not have the graphical presentation of results, but your report should have
this part. In the regression part, one table is enough, although it should contain more than one
• Concluding remarks (explain the main shortcomings of your study, and offer some suggestions
to expand it)
• References (You don’t have to use all the references that the original paper uses.)
• Data appendix (explain what changes you make in the original data to create the data used in
your research paper)
Most published papers have complicated models and empirical analysis. I expect you to “simplify” the
analysis, such that you have a regression analysis of the type we cover in class (as if you want to use the
paper to teach the first course in econometrics!). To do so, you must simplify the data and prepare it for
simple regression analyses. This simplification may include keeping only the variables you will work on
or working with part of the data.
I expect you to choose your paper and have some primary analysis on data and the theory behind the
paper. You must upload the paper. You also must upload one page (doc file) with the following
• Full information about the paper: title, author(s), and full reference.
• The summary (just copy and paste!)
• The main variable of interest with descriptive statistic and a histogram
• The main explanatory variable with descriptive statistic and a histogram.
In this draft, you should have most of the components of the paper. I will provide comments on your
almost-final version and expect the comments to be applied.
The data work should be YOUR codes. You may get help from the codes published by journals, but you
should write your own codes. The main rule is: DO NOT USE THE CODE YOU DON’T KNOW. It means no
copy-pasting the codes.
The regression results and the graphs you put in your paper should be the results of your codes. Do not
copy-paste any graph, table, or number from the published paper into your paper. Your tables should
NOT be direct copy and paste of regressions from Stata. You can generate the tables in Word, or use
Stata packages that generate professional-looking tables.
Remember, I am not looking for the exact replication of the results. I am looking for evidence that you
can use the data to generate regression results and graphs and present your results in a professional
I will check the log file very carefully. The results presented in your paper must match with the log file
There is a new journal, International Journal for Re-Views in Empirical
Economics (https://www.iree.eu/) that publishes replications of
published papers. I suggest you look at the papers and their reviews.
You may set you goal to publish your paper in this journal.
One of the goals of this project is to be familiar with the concept of “replicability.” The following
statement from Journal of Applied Econometrics describes the narrow and wide meaning of replication.
If you choose to work on a published paper, you will take the first steps of replicating the results of the
Replicability is an important part of every science, although what is meant by replication varies quite widely across
different disciplines. At JAE we already require authors to provide their data sets and any specialized computer
programs as a precondition for publication, with the aim of facilitating the replication of results that we publish. We are
now proposing to take the next natural step of providing an outlet and opportunity for researchers to report on
successful as well as unsuccessful replications. We also hope that this will encourage students and teachers of
applied econometrics to replicate the published work in the classroom.
There are two aspects to replication of results published in JAE:
• Replication in a narrow sense: This would involve checking the submitted data against the primary sources
(when applicable) for consistency and accuracy, checking the validity of computations either directly or by
carrying out the estimation (including the computation of standard errors) using other computer packages.
• Replication in a wide sense: This assumes that replication in the narrow sense has been successful, but asks
if the substantive empirical finding of the paper can be replicated using data from other periods, countries,
regions, or other entities as appropriate. Replicators are required to submit their output, preferably using
different software from that used by the original article, as well as a short write up of their results. In cases
where the results are not replicable, the authors will be given the opportunity to review the submission.
Following is the list of “some” journals with such a requirement, just to start with.
• American Economic Journal: Applied Economics
• American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
• Journal of Economic Perspective
• World Development
• The World Bank Economic Review
• Journal of Development Economics
• Journal of Applied Econometrics
• The Review of Economics and Statistics 学霸联盟