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ECO 341K (33755, Spring 2018)

Introduction to Econometrics
University of Texas at Austin
MW 2:00pm-3:30pm in CLA 0.128

Instructor: Prof. Brendan Kline


E-mail: brendan.kline@austin.utexas.edu
Office Hour: Tuesday 1:30pm-3:30pm
in BRB 2.144
or by appointment

Teaching assistant: Rong Chen Teaching assistant: Qingsong Pan


E-mail: rong.chen@utexas.edu E-mail: qingsongpan@utexas.edu
Office Hour: Monday 9am-11am Office Hour: Thursday 2pm-4pm
in BRB 4.132 in BRB 2.158

Questions about re-grading should follow the steps described below in the syllabus.
Objectives
This course provides an introduction to the use of statistics in economics. The course focuses on
linear regression, including the basics of interpretation, estimation, and testing. The course also
introduces some further topics in econometrics, including time series data, panel data, binary
outcomes, and instrumental variables. The goal of the course is to develop an understanding
of the most important ideas in econometrics. Students will also be introduced to econometrics
computer software.

Prerequisites
The official prerequisites for this course are ECO 329 (economic statistics) and 420K (microeco-
nomic theory) with a grade of at least C- in each. Additionally, students should be comfortable
with the material in appendices A, B, and C of the textbook.

Quantitative Reasoning flag


This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are de-
signed to equip students with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quanti-
tative arguments they will regularly encounter in their adult and professional lives.

Textbook
The required textbook for this course is Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach, 6th
edition, by Jeffrey Wooldridge. The textbook is also available for short-term use in the Reserves
of Perry-Castañeda Library.

Software
This course involves the use of an econometrics software package called Stata. Students are not
expected to have had any previous exposure to Stata. Stata will be a major part of the lectures,
homework, and exams. Instructions concerning getting access to Stata will be provided.

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Course materials: website and email
Course materials will be posted to Canvas, which can be accessed at https://utexas.instructure.com/.
In addition, students should regularly check their email for course announcements. Course ma-
terial is provided for the exclusive use of students currently enrolled in this course, and may
not be distributed to anyone not associated with the course.

Grading
Course score will be determined by the following weights:

• Homework: 20%
• Midterm exam 1: 20%
• Midterm exam 2: 20%
• Final exam: 40%

Attendance is not a direct component of the course grade, but is strongly encouraged. The
lectures will teach material that is not in the textbook, and/or in different ways than appears
in the textbook. The lectures will teach the use of Stata, which is not in the textbook.

Letter grades will be assigned to students based on the above course score, taking into consid-
eration performance relative to the rest of the class. The plus/minus system applies.

Homework
There will be approximately one homework assignment per week of class. Homework is due
in class on the due date. Homework will not be accepted after the due date. Students should
expect homework to be due on the following days: January 24, 31; February 7, 14; March 5,
19, 28; April 16, 23; May 2. However, this schedule is subject to change.

The homework is intended to be completed individually. However, students may work on


the homework assignments in groups of at most three students. Students working in a group
may either submit separate solutions, or submit a shared solution for all members of the group.
Students working in a group should clearly indicate the members of the group on the submitted
homework solution(s), regardless of whether students submit a group or individual solution.
Students working in groups are strongly encouraged to ensure that they individually understand
all of the homework problems and solutions. Exams will be completed individually. Students
who learn better in groups are allowed to work in groups, but should not view that as a way
to do less work.

Late homework cannot be accepted. If a student cannot attend lecture on the due date, then
the student can submit the homework to the front desk of the economics building (BRB) before
the beginning of class on the due date. Since partial credit is available on homeworks, students
are encouraged to submit the part of the homework that they have completed if they are not
able to complete the entire homework assignment.

The lowest one score on the homeworks will be dropped from the grading. This policy means

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that a student can miss (at most) one homework without any penalty. Students do not need
to provide the instructor any sort of explanation for why the homework was missed in order
to use this policy. Conversely, missing more than one homework will have a negative effect on
course score and grade.

Exams
There are two in-class midterm exams, and a final exam.

The exams are scheduled as follows:

• Midterm exam 1: February 21 (in class)

• Midterm exam 2: April 4 (in class)

• Final exam:

– Thursday, May 10, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

(per the Registrar, but the actual final may be less than the full three hours)

Students are expected to take all exams at the scheduled dates and times. Exams begin and
end promptly at the times announced by the instructor. Students should be present in the
classroom at the beginning of the exam. At the discretion of the instructor, students that do
not submit the exam within a reasonable period of time (e.g., 1 minute) after the end of the
exam are subject to receiving a 0 on that exam. It is not possible to have “make-up exams,”
and it is not possible to change the schedule of the exams. Therefore, students should make
sure that they do not have any conflicts with the schedule of exams, including the final exam.
Students should not schedule travel that results in missing the final exam part of the semester.
If an exam is missed (excepting the policy in the next paragraphs), then a score of 0 will be
received for that exam.

If a midterm exam is missed due to a valid reason that is unavoidable and outside of the
control of the student (for example, with appropriate verification: a medical emergency or
family emergency), and satisfactory evidence of the validity is provided to the instructor, then
at the discretion of the instructor, the weight that midterm exam plays in determining the
course score will become 0% and the weight the final exam plays in determining the course
score will correspondingly become 60% (or 80% should both midterm exams be missed for
valid reasons).

If the final exam is missed due to a valid reason (same definition as above), then a grade
of Incomplete may be temporarily assigned for the course grade until the missed final exam
can be resolved. The assignment of a grade of Incomplete is subject to the discretion of the
instructor, and will include (among other things) a consideration of the student’s performance
in the course prior to the final. In particular, an Incomplete might not be given if the student
has missed substantial parts of the course prior to missing the final, regardless of the “validity”
of missing those parts of the course. An Incomplete cannot be used to “make up” for missing
a substantial part of the course.

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If an exam is missed for a valid reason, the student must provide the instructor with the evidence
of the valid reason for missing the exam as soon as possible, preferably before the missed exam
if possible.

The exams are completed individually, and are closed book and closed notes. No calculators
or other electronic devices will be allowed on exams. However, a common “formula sheet” of
useful material will be provided by the instructor. The exams are cumulative.

Re-grades
Requests for re-grades must be made within one week of the day that the relevant home-
work/exam is returned in class to the students. A student who requests a re-grade should
submit directly to the instructor the entire homework/exam in question, and a brief note ex-
plaining the concern. The note should be written on a piece of paper separate from the home-
work/exam itself. Students should not make alterations of any kind to the homework/exam
after it is returned to them.

Course outline and course topics


The following outline of the course topics is subject to change, particularly due to time con-
straints on later topics. Not all parts of these chapters will be covered in this course.

Topic Reference in textbook Approximate timing


Introduction Chapter 1 Lectures 1-2
The simple regression model Chapter 2 Lectures 3-5
The multiple regression model Chapter 3 Lectures 6-9
Catchup, exam review, and Exam n/a Lectures 10-11
Small sample statistical inference for OLS Chapter 4 Lectures 12-14
Large sample statistical inference for OLS Chapter 5 Lecture 15
Additional topics in OLS Chapters 6-9 Lectures 16-19
Catchup, exam review, and Exam n/a Lectures 20-21
Time series Chapters 10-11 Lectures 22-23
Panel data Chapters 13-14 Lectures 24-25
Binary outcomes Chapter 17 Lecture 26
Instrumental variables Chapter 15 Lectures 27-28
Catchup and exam review n/a Lectures 29+

University policies

• University of Texas Honor Code (see https://www.utexas.edu/about/mission-and-values)


“The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom,
leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is
expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect
toward peers and community.”

• Policy on Academic Integrity


“Students who violate University rules on academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary

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penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the Uni-
versity. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the
University, policies on academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further informa-
tion please visit the Student Judicial Services Web site: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs.”

• Documented Disability Statement


“Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the
Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities
at 471-6259 (voice) or 232-2937 (video phone) or http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd.”