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ECO210 Information Literacy Assignment

Issued: Thursday, February 12, 2015


Due: Thursday, April 9, 2015 (hardcopy only)
Value: 100 points
In this assignment you will learn and/or practice:
About databases on the universitys library website to help you conduct research.
The distinction between scholarly sources of information and popular sources.
About some sources of economic data and research.
Citing references using APA format.
To use economic models to analyze and understand real world events.

To complete this assignment you will need to refer to the documents on information literacy
provided in class. Your finished assignment should have 8 parts: answers to each of the first seven
questions and the complete reference list asked for in question 8.

Other format instructions: Times New Roman style, font size 12, double space (except
tables and graphs), 1 inch margin throughout the essay. For all questions, make sure to
cite the sources of the information within the context following the APA style, including
all data, articles, and etc. An APA format guideline can be found at
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/.
1. (10 points) The Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) is an important source of
economic data. Go to this website and find the mission of the BLS. Who does the BLS
work for? Should one consider the BLS information to be unbiased? What evidence do
you have for your conclusion? Why is this important to know whether the BLS
information is biased or unbiased?
2. (10 points) Browse the BLS page and briefly discuss the types of economic data the BLS
collects and publishes.
3. (10 points) On the website of Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, find

annual data for CPI in the U.S. from 1994 to 2014. The data must be the All
urban consumers, all items, 1982-1984=100, U.S. city average, not seasonally
adjusted CPI. Show your data in one table, entitle the table Table 1. CPI and
Inflation. Also show your data in a time series graph. Place year on the
horizontal axis and CPI along the vertical axis.
4. (10 points) Calculate yearly inflation rate using the data you find in 1. Include

your inflation rate in Table 1 in #3. For Table 1, you should have three columns,
with column 1 named year, column 2 CPI, and column 3 Inflation. Also
show the inflation data in a time series graph. Place year along the horizontal axis
and inflation rate along the vertical axis.
5. (20 points) In the graph of #4, identify one year featured by a spike in inflation

rate and another year featured by a slide in the inflation rate. Name two
1

hypotheses for the possible reasons for each of the change in inflation rate in the
U.S. Then draw an Aggregate Supply-Aggregate Demand graph for each to
explain the change in inflation.
6. (20 points) Select EITHER the spike or the slide in inflation rate to elaborate on, NOT
BOTH, in this question. Use a library database (ABI/INFORM, for example) to conduct a
search of popular and/or trade journals to determine cause of the inflation spike (or slide
if you so choose). You should find multiple articles (a minimum of THREE articles) so as
to confirm you have found the true cause(s) of the spike (or the slide). According to the
THREE articles, what were the causes of the inflation spike (or slide)? Provide evidence
that supports your conclusion as to the causes of the spike (or slide). Are they consistent
with any of your hypotheses from (5) above?
7. (10 points) Use a library database (Econlit, for example) to find articles from scholarly
economics journals discussing the U.S. economy and inflation. You do not need to read
or summarize these articles. Explain how one can distinguish between scholarly journals
and popular/trade journals. Why are scholarly journals more credible? Does this mean
they are completely trustworthy? Discuss.
8. (10 points) Provide complete reference list for all the articles you found using APA
format.