Effects of Trade Liberalization Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): The Case of the US Auto Industry


Assignment Outline

This assignment has two parts:

A. For this assignment, each student is required to read and cite at least one academic economic publication, examples of which can be found below.  (This academic economic article MUST be used and cited in the final report as well).  The objective of this reading is for the student to become more familiar with the way economists write.  Each student must submit the complete reference of the article read.  Failure to do so will result in 5 points taken off the grade of the final report.  Examples of academic economic publications are:  The American Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamic and Control, Quarterly Journal of Economics, etc. (Publications such as the Economist or the Wall Street Journal do not qualify as academic publications but may be used as supplemental sources.)

B. You are required to submit an Outline Form of 2 to 3-pages, giving a clear outline of your project. It should contain:
1.    The title of the report, your name, and ID number, as well as the date on which the report is turned in.
2.    A clear introduction describing the topic you chose and the way you have decided to analyze it.  The first sentence of your introduction should answer the question: what am I trying to show in this paper?  Remember you are not writing a mystery novel, so try to be clear.  The introduction sets the tone of the paper, and an effective introduction tells the reader what is going to happen in the paper.
3.    A summary of the main points of your argument is needed.  Try to limit yourself to 3 main points.  Separate each point by having different sections.  Feel free to make subsections whenever needed.
4.    A brief discussion of what theory you will use to motivate your empirical analysis.  Regression analysis is NOT theory; if you are interested in economic growth, for example, you will likely want to discuss the Solow model and its implications for your question.
5.    A description of the data set that you would like to use as empirical evidence for your paper. NOTE: This means you must indicate the variables of interest, source of data (where are you getting them from) and years for which you can obtain the data.
6.    A description of the empirical approach you will take: given the question you are analyzing write down the regression(s) you have in mind for analyzing the question.
7.    A conclusion in which you restate the question you are analyzing, summarize the main points you have developed, and present the results you have drawn from that analysis.
8.    A reference or bibliography section where you list the references you used to develop your arguments.
9.    You may add an appendix if you have graphs or data or some mathematical derivation.

Assignment Final Draft
You should submit what you consider a polished version of your paper, taking into account the remarks and comments made on the previous assignments. The paper should be 10-12 pages, with additional graphs/charts.

Checklist for Final Draft
I strongly suggest you use this checklist as a guide for the final draft. Although the points I stress here may not be sufficient for a good grade, I think they are helpful.

1.    Think about what is original in your work, what is your contribution.  You should not just repeat what others have said.  On the other hand, if you want to make a point, make sure you have enough evidence to defend it objectively.
2.    Think about your audience.  Any economics classmate of yours should be able to read and make sense of your paper.  If you find your own paper boring or uninteresting, chances are other people will too!
3.    Does your paper consist of 10-12 pages with additional graphs/charts?
4.    Have you labeled sources of data under the graphs/charts?
5.    Make sure ALL your claims are backed by data and economic analysis.
6.    Do you clearly link your theory and empirical work?
7.    Make sure you do not use any terms you have not defined.
8.    Remove unnecessary value judgments.
9.    Do you have AT LEAST three academic journal references?
10.    Make sure all your sentences have a subject and a verb.  Read them out loud to make sure they make sense!  Are the tense and person of all the verbs correct?
11.    Have you referenced all the data and citations? (Use footnotes!)
12.    Do your references follow the Chicago Style? (Yes, there is a format for internet documents!)
13.    Include page numbers (remember the paper must be 10-12 pages long!).
14.    Run the spell checker!!
15.    Are you submitting a polished version of your paper, taking into account the remarks and comments made on the previous assignments?
16.    Have you made a copy of everything you are submitting for your own records?

Paper Contents:


Economic Model

Empirical Analysis

  • Import figures:
  • Employment and Production:
  • Welfare effects:
  • Evaluation of the Economic Model in the Context of NAFTA: