Economics 391: Economics and Business Statistics, fall 2013

Instructor: Prof. Jeremy A. Sandford

Office hour: TH 4:00-5:00pm, 335L B&E, or by appointment
Lecture: 2:00-3:15pm MW, BE 301

Midterm exam dates: Wednesday October 2, and Monday, November 4, in class
Final exam date: Monday, December 16, 10:30am-12:30pm

Required texts: Keller, Statistics, South-Western College Pub


Homework 1, answers
Homework 2, answers
Homework 3, answers
Homework 4, answers
Homework 5, answers

Group project assignment

December 4 office hours schedule


Wednesday, August 28: Basic probability exercises
reading: Keller, chapter 6
reading: The probability of injustice, The Economist, 1/22/2004
optional: An interview with Emily Oster

Monday, September 2: no class (Labor Day)

Wednesday, September 4: Conditional probability, random variables, mean and variance
reading: Keller, chapters 6-7

Monday, September 9: Binomial and Poisson random variables, example problems
reading: Keller, chapter 7

Wednesday, September 11: Continuous probability distributions: uniform and exponential random variables
reading: Keller, chapter 8

Monday, September 16: Normal distribution, standardizing normal probabilities
reading: Keller, chapter 8

Wednesday, September 18: No class

Monday, September 23: Normal distribution probability calculations
reading: Keller, chapter 8
optional: List of all US-born 7-footers in NBA since 2000 (article)

Wednesday, September 25: Sampling distributions, interval estimates
reading: Keller, chapter 9

Monday, September 30: Sampling distributions, interval estimates, exam review
reading: Keller, chapter 9

Wednesday, October 2: Midterm Exam 1, Keller chapters 6-9
midterm exam (with answers)

Monday, October 7: sampling distributions, interval estimation
reading: Keller, chaopters 9-10

Wednesday, October 9: interval estimation
reading: Keller, chapter 10

Monday, October 14: hypothesis testing: terminology, rejection regions, type I errors
reading: Keller, chapter 11

Wednesday, October 16: hypothesis testing: p-values and probability of type II error
reading: Keller, chapter 11

Monday, October 21: linear regression analysis: terminology, interpreting regression coefficients
reading: Keller, chapter 16

Wednesday, October 23: regression: desirable properties of error terms, R^2, using Excel to produce regression results
reading: Keller, chapter 16

Monday, October 28: regression: more practice with producing and interpreting results. F statistics, adjusted R^2, predicting values of y for given values of x
reading: Keller, chapter 16

Wednesday, October 30:regression, exam review
reading: Keller, chapters 16

Monday, November 4: Midterm Exam 2 (with answers), covering chapters 9-11, 16
Last semester's second midterm, answers
Last semester's third midterm, answers

Wednesday, November 6: Intro to multiple regression
reading: Keller, chapter 17

Monday, November 11: Multiple regression
reading: Keller, chapter 17

Wednesday, November 13: The effect of police on crime
reading: Klick, Jonathan and Alexander Tabarrok (2005), "Using terror alert levels to estimate the effect of police on crime," Journal of Law and Economics, 48(1), 267-279

Monday, November 18: Dummy variables, polynomial models, model building
reading: Keller, chapter 19

Wednesday, November 20: The effect of medical marijuana laws on traffic fatalities
reading: Anderson, Mark, Benjamin Hansen, and Daniel Rees (2013) "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption", Journal of Law and Economics, 56(2), pp. 333-369

Monday, November 25: No class

Wednesday, November 27: No class

Monday, December 2: The effect of prison conditions and the death penalty on crime
reading: Katz, Lawrence, Steven Levitt, and Ellen Shustorovich (2003), "Prison conditions, capital punishment, and deterrence," American Economic Review, 5(2), 318-343

Wednesday, December 4: Mandatory office hours (timeslots to be announced)

Monday, December 9: Lying with statistics: Simpson's paradox and examples
reading: (Dis)aggregation and Simpson's paradox
Momentous spring at the 2156 Olympics?
Examples of dubious statistical claims

Wednesday, December 11: Lying with statistics: group exercises
Further examples of dubious statistical claims (with explanations)

Monday, December 16 (10:30am-12:30pm): Final Exam, cumulative
Last semester's final exam
Ungraded homework 6, answers