Paper details:
1 Overview
The purpose of this assignment is to combine the skills you’ve learned in the rst two
assignments along with some additional skills to produce a data-analytic paper that
addresses a question you either formulate yourself or choose from several alternatives.
A well-structured paper will st introduce the question, then describe the theory and
hypotheses to be tested. Once those are articulated, a good description of the data
follows along with the empirical tests to evaluate the hypotheses. Once the results are
presented, a good diagnostic check of the estimates comes next, with a discussion of the
implications of your work and a conclusion.
It is suggested that you start with the states or world data sets to identify your
question. An important part of the assignment will be to identify an additional variable
of interest that lies outside these two data sets. In other words, you’ll need to locate
and merge a new variable with the data that you already have at your disposal. To help
get the assignment started, consider the following questions or puzzles contained in the
2 Possible Topics
What accounts for the variation among the US states we see in the number of
women that participate in state legislatures?

Is it a cultural phenomenon,ge-ographical, or purely political?

If we wanted to increase the number of women
participating in politics, what would be your recommendation?

Some politicians are good at showering their constituents with pork. Using the
earmarks per capita measure, determine what explains the variation in the amount
of earmarks we see among the 50 states. Why are some politicians better than
others at bringing home the pork?

Some fault the US for being politically apathetic when it comes to voting turnout.
Using data from the world data set, what best explains why some countries seem
to do better at participating politically (turnout)? Is there any hope for increasing
political participation given what you’ve found?

Related to an earlier question regarding participation by women in politics, is there
anything to be learned by examining the variance in participation by women at the
country level? What explains the variance you see between nations? What would
you recommend to help increase the number of women particpating in politics
throughout the world?
Inequality has become an important issue over the the last 10 years. Using data
on the gini coecient from the world data set, explain what are the main causes
of inequality. Is this a political phenomenon or something that is dictated by more
structural forces?
Each one of these questions can be answered in part by the data you already have, but
much more can be learned by bringing additional data into the analysis. You can also see
that the questions are structured so that in order to make certain policy recommendation,
you need to have a good idea of what factors are involved in explaining the variation we
see among cases (whether the US states or the countriies in the world).
3 Structure of the paper
Below is a description of how the paper should be structured and what we expect to see
in each section. Follow this outline closely to garauntee success on this assigment.
3.1 Introduction
In this section, start with the sentence, “In this paper, I will argue…” One you’ve done
that, articulate the main reasons why your argument is correct. The main reasons
should be derived from the empirical analysis you’ve conducted in the paper. Once
you’ve conducted your empirical analysis, choose the most powerful pieces of evidence
to make your argument. This will help focus your argument and cut your presentation
to only those things that make for the most powerful argument. Finally, provide a brief
roadmap of your paper: In section one I will….etc.,
3.2 Theory
Here’s where you talk about your theory of whatever phenomenon you’re explaining.
You’ll talk about your model (the usual suspects) and specically the hypotheses you’re
going to test. For example, if you’re trying to explain inequality, you might talk about
the things that should be included in the model (GDP per capita, Region, etc.) along
with some hypotheses you might want to test (does democracy generate higher or lower
economic inequality?). The key to this section is to put together a convincing list of the
usual suspects and then to articulate one or more hypotheses that you want to test.

3.3 Data and Model
Here’s where you identify the variables you’re going to use and to describe what they
look like. Give the reader a sense of which states or countries are high or low in the
variables. The more familiar the reader is with the variables, the more they’ll trust the
end result. In this section descriptive statistics are very helpful. Once you’ve described
the data you’ll be using and where you got it from, what model are you going to use to
test your hypothesis? Is it interactive? Will dummy variables be used? How will it give
you the answers you need, what do you expect to nd?
3.4 Analysis and Diagnostics
Present the main regressions and other pieces of data to make your case. Once you’ve
described the substantive and statistical signicance of your results, assure the reader
with diagnostics that your results are stable and are not the result of something lurking
underneath aggregate summaries (regression estimates) of your data.
3.5 Implications and Conclusions
What are the implications of your ndings? You should state your main conclusions
here along with how these answer the questions posed above: policy recommendations,
can change occur?, etc.
4 Particulars of the Assignment
The paper should be somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 words (about 5-6 pages of
double spaced, 12 pt font, text). Tables and gures should be inserted in the document,
not at the end. The paper is due on midnight in the dropbox, December 8th.
4.1 Appendix: R-Script
In this assignment, we’re asking that you include at the end of your document the R-
script you used to generate the tables and gures. You’ve done a lot of great work this
semester and we simply want to make sure that you’ve saved an important part of it.

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