Econ 438 Fall 2020
Applied Econometrics: Politics, Sports, Microeconomics
Ray C. Fair
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. 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.

Prerequisites: Two semesters of econometrics or statistics. Special permission from the instructor is needed if the student has had only one semester of econometrics or statistics.

Attendance Class attendance is required, and there will be considerable class participation.

Statistical Software Any statistical software is fine. Class time will not be taken going over software.

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. I hope to add more papers on tests of discrimination. Students will be asked to present some of the papers. Also, time will be taken for students' presentations of their own papers. All readings are online except for your econometrics text.

1. August 31, September 2, 7, 9: Econometric Methodology and Tools
# Case, Fair, and Oster, Chapter 36, "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.
# Correlations: Sodas are bad
# Correlations: Vegan is so so
# Blood Pressure: Take pills at night
# Gary Smith on luck in baseball: Luck in baseball
# Example of data mining, Gary Smith, Data Mining
# Dilbert regression: Dilbert

2. September 14, 16: Explaining and Predicting Voting Behavior
# Fair, Ray C., The Economy and Voting Behavior, February 22,2017.
# Voting site: Voting site.
# Vote equation through 1960: Equation.
# Pitfalls: Pitfalls.
# Coattail: Coattail.
# 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 2018 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.)
# Seemingly Unrelated Regression Model: SUR.

3. September 21. 23: Explaining the Voting Behavior of Members of Congress and Student Presentations of the First Paper
# 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 28, before class.

4. September 28, 30: 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. October 5, 7: 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. October 12, 14: 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.
# OPTIONAL: Guo, Mengmeng, and Shihe Fu, Running With a Mask? The Effect of Air Pollution on Marathon Runners' Performance, Journal of Sports Economics, 2019.
# OPTIONAL: Fair, Ray C., and Christopher Champa, Estimated Costs of Contact in College and High School Male Sports, Journal of Sports Economics, 2019.
# OPTIONAL: Fair, Ray C., and Christopher Champa, Estimated Costs of Injuries in College and High School Female Sports, July 2019.

7. October 19, 21: Topics in Sports Economics--2 and Student Presentations of the Second Paper
# Fair, Ray C., Estimated Age Effects in Baseball, Journal of Quantitataive Analysis in Sports, 2008.

Second paper due Monday, October 26, before class.

8. October 26, 28: 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.
# 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.

9. November 2, 4: Grades, Wine, and Extramarital Affairs
# Hamermesh, Daniel S., and Amy Parker, Beauty in the Classroom: Instructors' Pulchritude and Putative Pedogolical Productivity, Economics of Education Review, 2005.
# 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. November 9, 11: 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. November 16, 18: Is the Harvard Admissions Process Biased Against Asian-Americans or Other Papers on Discrimination
# 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
# Arcidiacono, Peter, Josh Kinsler, and Tyler Ransom, Legacy and Athlete Preferences at Harvard, NBER Working Paper 26316, September 2019. Focus on Section 4.1, Appendix C, and related tables.
# OPTIONAL: Arcidiacono, Peter, Josh Kinsler, and Tyler Ransom, Divergent: The Time Parh of Legacy and Athlete Admissions at Harvard, NBER Working Paper 26315, September 2019.

Outline of third paper due Wednesday, November 18, before class.

13. December 1, 3: Student Presentations of the Third Paper

Third paper due on December 10 or 18.

Possible Other 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 Medical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2010.
# 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.
# Data from Hamermesh and Parker paper: Data.
# 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.

News Items and Miscellaneous
# Race data: New Haven Road Race
# SOM Race Assignment: SOM New Haven Road Race Assignment