Economics 315 Dr. Jim Vincent Econometrics Office: 405 OEC Fall

Economics 315
Fall 2014
Dr. Jim Vincent
Office: 405 OEC
Phone: 651-962-5689
e-mail: [email protected]
University of St. Thomas
Required: Hill, R. Carter, William E Griffiths and Guay C. Lim, Principles of Econometrics, 4th ed.,
Wiley, 2011.
In addition, I will occasionally be posting stuff on my web page.
Grades will be based on two mid-term exams, a final exam, three graded problem sets and a final
research paper. The weighting for the final course grade is as follows:
Exams…………........20% each
Problem sets.............5% each
Research paper…....25%
Class participation...5%
Economics 315 is designed to give you a working knowledge of econometrics. Econometrics consists of
statistical methods which have been adapted to the particular requirements of economic modeling,
estimation and forecasting. In your studies of economics, this will be your fullest exposure to empirical
(in contrast to theoretical) methods. In this class you will study the theoretical foundations of
econometric techniques, and you will implement these methods using computer-based applications.
This course does not require calculus or linear algebra, although these would be necessary for more
advanced treatments of the subject. (If you are considering graduate study, see me or other econ. faculty
right away.) It is assumed, however, that you have studied basic probability and statistics (e.g., STAT
220 at UST). I strongly recommend that you dig out your old statistics text (or find one in the library)
and review the material on probability distributions, moments of distributions (mean, variance,
covariance, etc.) and hypothesis testing.
Class meets:
0935 – 1040 MWF, 9.3.14 – 12.12.14
Office hours:
1445 – 1530 M
1100 – 1200 W
and by appointment
Office hours will not be used to obtain tutorial help for classes that were skipped. You are on
your own for material missed due to an unexcused absence. Please feel free to call or e-mail me at
any time for an appointment outside of the scheduled office hours.
The following schedule is intended only to be indicative, so do not set your watches by it. It is
principally an indicator of the ordering of the subjects. Significant adjustments may be made to
this timetable after we see what progress we make through the material. Classes will be
conducted with the presumption that you have read the appropriate chapters prior to class. I
encourage you to ask questions in class.
A note about this text: Econometrics texts vary substantially—some are encyclopedic, and some
get to the main points and stick to them. This text is in between. It contains sufficient coverage
for a two-semester sequence in econometrics. As such, we will cover roughly half of the book. It
has sufficient coverage that it would serve as a good reference if you go on to work with
econometrics beyond this course either professionally or in graduate school.
With the exception of Chapter 1 you will be given a more detailed outline of what we will cover as that
chapter approaches.
A general introduction to econometrics and data
Review of probability
Probability Primer
We will throw in some statistics as well
The simple linear regression model
There is a lot in this chapter—we will be in it
for a few weeks
Statistical inference in regression models
Goodness of fit and modeling issues
The multiple regression model
More statistical inference
Dummy variables
Dummy dependent variable models
We are scheduled to hold the class in the Economics Computer Lab, but often will not be using the
computers. Sometimes we may be able to find an alternative classroom, sometimes not. When we use the
computers, it will often not be for the entire class. Whenever we do not need the computers, they will be
turned off. If this were only an individual thing, I would not make a big deal out of it, but there are
externalities. (If you have not been introduced to externalities, go look the subject up in a micro text.)
This behavior is very distracting to those who are trying to concentrate, thus the computers will be turned
on only when pertinent to the class.
The class experience will be much more valuable if you have read the material and are prepared to
participate, answer questions, and solve problems. I know you have heard professors say this before
(blah, blah, blah….), but it nonetheless is true. We will be working out problems during many class
periods, so if you are clueless owing to lack of preparation, you will not be able to contribute or to benefit.
Exam 1
Exam 2
Oct 10
Nov 14
Final-exam week
From the Enhancement Program
Classroom accommodations will be provided for qualified students with documented disabilities.
Students are invited to contact the Enhancement Program – Disability Services about
accommodations for this course. Telephone appointments are available to students as needed.
Appointments can be made by calling 651-962-6315 or 800-328-6819, extension 6315. You may also
make an appointment in person in Murray Herrick, room 110. For further information, you can locate
the Enhancement Program on the web at
About the Instructor
Jim. Vincent is Professor of Economics at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He
received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Montana and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Vincent has also served on the faculty of the
University of Colorado at Denver. He has served as a consultant to organizations such as the Colorado
Office of Consumer Counsel, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the Colorado Division of Wildlife,
the Montana Public Service Commission, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and U S West
Communications. In this capacity he has also served as an expert witness in regulatory proceedings. He
conducts academic research in the areas of energy and environmental economics. This research has
produced published papers, professional reports, conference presentations and citations in the areas of
energy pricing, environmental valuation and electric-utility systems.