Econ 438 Fall 2018
Applied Econometrics: Politics, Sports, Microeconomics
Ray C. Fair
Prerequisites: at least one semester of econometrics, preferably two.

Description This course has an applied econometrics focus. The topics include voting behavior, betting markets, sports, and various issues in microeconomics. The requirements are three empirical papers. The first, worth 20 percent of the grade, is an extension of an existing article, where some of the results are duplicated and then extended. A voting example is provided if a student wants to use it. The second, worth 30 percent of the grade, is more of the same but with no example provided. The third, worth 50 percent of the grade, is a more original paper within the range of topics covered in the course, where data are collected and analyzed using whatever econometric techniques are relevant. For seniors this paper can possibly be the beginning of a senior essay.

Attendance Class attendance is required, and there will be considerable class participation. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops may not be used in class.

Statistical Software Most students use STATA, but any software is fine. Class time will not be taken going over software.

General Remarks The aim of the course is to get students doing original empirical research using econometric tools. It is also to prepare students to read empirical papers in economics and other social sciences.

Readings The following list of readings is tentative. Some papers may be added and some subtracted, partly depending on students' interests. And not all papers may be required reading.

A. Notes

B. Miscellaneous Readings
Goodman, Joshua, Oded Gurantz, and Jonathan Smith, Take Two! SAT Retaking and College Enrollment Gaps, NBER Working Paper 24945, August 2018.
Almond, Douglas, Joseph J. Doyle, Jr., Amanda E. Kowalski, and Heidi Williams, Estimating Marginal Returns to Midical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2010.
Barreca, Alan I., Melanie Guldi, Jason M. Lindo, and Glen R. Waddell, Saving Babies? Revisiting the Effect of Very Low Birth Weight Classification, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2011.
Almond et al., Reply, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2011.
Guthold, Regina, Gretchen A. Steverns, Leanne M. Riley, and Fiona C. Bull, Worldwide Trends in Insufficient Physical Activity from 2001 to 2016, WHO study 2018.
Hamermesh, Daniel S., and Amy Parker, Beauty in the Classroom: Instructors' Pulchritude and Putative Pedogolical Productivity, Economics of Education Review, 2005.
Data from Hamermesh and Parker paper: Data.
Fair, Ray C., and Christopher Champa, Estimated Costs of Contact in College and High School Male Sports, Journal of Sports Economics, 2018.
Wiebe, Douglas J., et al, Association Between the Experimental Kickoff Rule and Concussion Rates in Ivy League Football, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2018.
Chen, M. Keith, Jonathan E. Ingersoll, Jr., and Edward H. Kaplan, Modeling a Presidential Prediction Market, Management Science, 2008.

1. Weeks of August 29 and September 5: Econometric Methodology and Tools
Case, Fair, and Oster, Chapter 21, "Critical Thinking About Research."
Fair, Ray C., Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things, Second Edition, Chapters 1 and 2.
Oster, Emily, Here's Why It's So Impossible to Get Reliable Diet Advice From the News, Slate.
Data from Slate paper: Slate data.
Your econometrics text---use this for review throughout the course.

2. Week of September 10: Explaining and Predicting Voting Behavior
Fair, Ray C., The Economy and Voting Behavior, February 22,2017.
Voting site: Voting site.
Voting data: Voting data.
Fair, Ray C., Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things, Second Edition, Chapters 3 and 4.
Fair, Ray C., Presidential and Congressional Vote-Share Equations: November 2014 Update.
Fair, Ray C., Presidential and Congressional Vote-Share Equations, American Journal of Political Science, January 2009, 55-72. (This is optional, but you may want to skim it.)

3. Week of September 17: Explaining the Voting Behavior of Members of Congress
Washington, Ebonya, Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers' Voting on Women's Issues, The American Economic Review, 2008, 311-332.

First paper due Monday, September 24, before class.

4. Week of September 24: Political Betting Markets
Wolfers, Justin, and Eric Zitzewitz, Prediction Markets, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 2004, 107-126.
Rhode, Paul W., and Koleman S. Strumpf, Historical Presidential Betting Markets, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 2004, 127-142.
Snowberg, Erik, Justin Wolfers, and Eric Zitzewitz, Partisan Impacts on the Economy: Evidence from Prediction Markets and Close Elections, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2007, 807-829.
Snowberg, Erik, Justin Wolfers, and Eric Zitzewitz, Party Influence in Congress and the Economy, November 30, 2006.
Wolfers, Justin, and Eric Zitzewitz, The 'Standard Error' of Event Studies: Lessons from the 2016 Election, AEA Papers and Proceedings, 2018.

5. Week of October 1: Announcement Effects on Stock and Bond Markets
Fair, Ray C., Shock Effects on Stock, Bonds, and Exchange Rates, Journal of International Money and Finance, 2003, 207-341.
Knight, Brian, Are Policy Platforms Capitalized into Equity Prices? Evidence from the Bush/Gore 2000 Presidential Election, Journal of Public Economics, 2006, 751-773.
Shon, John J., Do Stock Returns Vary With Campaign Contributions? The Bush versus Gore 2000 Presidential Elections, 2006.
Fisman, Raymond, "Estimating the Value of Political Connections, The American Economic Review, September 2001, 1095-1102.
Fisman, David, Ray Fisman, Julia Galef, and Rakesh Khurana, Estimating the Value of Connections to Vice-President Cheney," May 24, 2006.
Wagner, Alexander F., Richard J. Zeckhauser, and Alexandre Ziegler, Unequal Rewards to Firms: Stock market Responses to the Trump Election and the 2017 Corporate Tax Reform, AER Papers and Proceedings, 2018.

6. Week of October 8: Topics in Sports Economics--1
Fair, Ray C., and John F. Oster, College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency.
Murray, Thomas J., Examining the Relationship Between Scheduling and the Outcomes of Regular Season Games in the National Football League, Journal of Sports Economics, 2018, 696-724.
Nardinelli, Clark, and Curtis Simon, Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Memorabilia: The Case of Baseball, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1990, 575-595.
Bradbury, John Charles, and Joshua D. Pitts, Full Cost-of-Attendance Scholarships and College Choice: Evidence from NCAA Football, Journal of Sports Economics, 2018.

7. October 15: Topics in Sports Economics--2
Fair, Ray C., Estimated Age Effects in Baseball, Journal of Quantitataive Analysis in Sports, 2008.

Second paper due Monday, October 22, before class.

8. Week of October 22: Natural Experiments
Gentzkow, Matthew, and Jesse M. Shapiro, Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores Historical Evidence From the Coleman Study, Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2008.
Jensen, Robert, and Emily Oster, The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India, Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2009, 1057-1094.

9. Week of October 29: Grades, Wine, and Extramarital Affairs
Durden, Garey C., and Larry V. Ellis, The Effects of Attendance on Student Learing in Principles of Economics, The American Economic Review, 1995, 343-346.
Ashenfelter, Orley, David Ashmore, and Roberty Lalonde, Bordeaux Wine Vintage Quality and the Weather, Chance, 1995, 7-14.
Fair, Ray C., A Theory of Extramarital Affairs The Journal of Political Economy, 1978.

10. Week of November 5: Post Mortem on the Congressional Election, Minimum Wage, Minimum Driving Age
Card, David, and Alan Krueger, Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, The American Economic Review, 1994, 772-793.
Jardim, Katerina, et al., Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence From Seattle, NBER Working Paper 23532, May 2018.
Clemens, Jeffrey, and Michael R. Strain, The Short-Run Employment Effects of Recent Minimum Wage Changes: Evidence from the American Community Survey, November 12, 2017.
Carpenter, Christopher, and Carlos Dobkin, The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, January 2009, 164-182.

12. Week of November 12: Is the Harvard Admissions Process Biased Against Asian-Americans?
Peter Arcidiacono's report, October 16, 2017
David Card's report, December 15, 2017
Arcidiacono's rebuttal to Card's report
Card's rebuttal to Arcidiacono's rebuttal

Outline of third paper due Wednesday, November 14, before class.

13, 14. Weeks of November 26 and December 3: Student Presentations of the Third Paper

Third paper due last day of reading period.