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Course units

Course unit - Applied Economics ** FOR BECONSC ECONOMICS ONLY

Code : ECON10162
Credit rating: 10
Semester : 2

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The aim of this module is to introduce students to the tools and techniques used in economics as a practical discipline. The course will provide an introduction to the ways in which economists use statistics and econometrics to test and interpret economic theories. The aim is to allow students to perform economic analysis using real-world data and standard statistical packages. This will help prepare students for more advanced courses in econometrics and applied economics.

Objectives (learning outcomes)

Students will learn how to:
(1) develop empirically testable hypotheses from economic theory,
(2) manipulate data in order to test interesting economic hypotheses,
(3) apply basic econometric methods to data,
(4) interpret empirical results derived from applying econometric methods to data,
(5) understand some of the limitations and potential pitfalls of empirical work in economics.
Students will have experience of using standard statistical computer packages as a research tool. They will have experience of report writing using appropriate information technology.


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60% final examination, 10% mid-term exam and 30% project.

Information *

Length of course: 12 weeks


Course unit content

The course will cover the structure of data, basic statistical methods, Ordinary Least Squares, hypothesis testing, difference-in-differences and other relevant statistical methods. A strong emphasis will be placed on the theoretical foundations of applied work and the interpretation that can be given to estimated coefficients.
The use of statistical and econometric methods will be illustrated using five important economic applications: estimating the returns to education, labour supply decisions, household spending patterns, consumption and savings and firm productivity and investment.

Reading List
Wooldridge J., Introductory Econometrics, Thomson Learning
(This textbook is also required for Econometrics courses ECON20110, ECON30341 and ECON30370)
Borjas, Labor Economics, McGraw-Hill
(This textbook is also required for ECON32012)
Varian, H (2010) Intermediate Microeconomics, Norton
(This textbook is also required in your second year Microeconomics IIA ECON20351)
Other topical reading material that are relevant to the applications we consider will be provided via the website during the course.

Course unit materials


Backus, Peter


Lectures: Thursday12-1 & Wednesday 9-10.
Tutorials: Please see intranet timetable:

Teaching methods

Practical classes

Preliminary reading

Course Outline - see Blackboard page


economic modelling
economic data
statistical software

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