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University of Colorado -- Boulder
Department of Economics
Economics 3818
Prof. Jeffrey S. Zax
Syllabus and Schedule
27 August 2001
Welcome. I am Prof. Jeffrey S. Zax. This is Economics 3818, Introduction to Statistics With
Computer Applications. This class will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from
10:00 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. throughout the semester in Duane Physics G125. Cristobal
Ridao-Cano will conduct three recitation sessions each week: Monday 8:00a.m.-8:50a.m. in
Guggenheim 2, Monday 1:00p.m.-1:50p.m. in Ketchum 120 and Wednesday 2:00p.m.2:50p.m. in Duane GIB39. I will hold regular office hours between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00
noon on Mondays and Wednesdays in my office , Economics 111. Appointments can be
made for meetings at other times, if these are inconvenient. In particular, any student
eligible for and needing academic adjustments or accommodations because of a disability
should arrange to meet with me immediately.
The purpose of this course is to establish basic competency in statistical analysis. This
includes familiarity with the formal properties of the covariance, the correlation coefficient,
essential probability distributions, hypothesis tests, confidence intervals and regression
analysis. It also includes an intuitive understanding of the value of these properties, as
well as of the appropriate use of numerical data as evidence. Lastly, it includes some
capacity to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate statistical arguments.
The material to be mastered in this class is contained in the lectures and recitations, the
assigned textbook, Statistics for Economics: An Intuitive Approach by Alan S. Caniglia,
problem sets and computer exercises. The material on summations in Caniglia's Chapter 2
is prerequisite for this course.
Performance in this class will be judged on the basis of several instruments. The final
examination will be worth 150 points. Three midterm examinations, worth a total of 130
points, will take place on 21 September, 17 October and 7 November, unless class progress
deviates from my current expectations. Problem sets or computer exercises worth 120
points, in total, will be assigned for most, if not all recitations. Solutions to the midterm
examinations, problem sets and computer exercises will be available soon after they are
due, hopefully via WebCT.
The course as a whole is valued at 400 points. The score attained by each student,
evaluated relative to those of other students in the class and to the score which would be
attained by an intelligent student of introductory statistics, will determine final letter
This course has the following tentative schedule, referencing chapters in the Caniglia
Course logistics, prerequisites,
philosophy. Review of the summation operator.
27 August
Chapters 2, 3
29, 31 August, 5 September Descriptive statistics: measures of
central tendency and dispersion.
Chapter 4
7, 10, 12 September
The relationships between
populations and samples.
Chapter 5
14, 17, 19, September
Basic probability concepts, the
addition rule, the multiplication
rule, and Bayes' Theorem.
Midterm examination
21 September
45 points
Chapter 6
24, 26, 28 September,
1, 3 October
Essential univariate probability
distributions, especially the binomial. normal and t distributions.
Chapter 7
8, 10, 12, 15 October
The expectation operator.
Midterm examination
17 October
40 points
Chapter 8 .
19, 22, 24, 26 October
Joint probability distributions,
covariance and correlation, functions of random variables.
Chapter 9
29, 31 October,
2, 5 November
Applications of chapter 8: properties of the sample average.
Midterm examination
7 November
45 points
Chapter 10
9, 12, 14 November
Statistical properties of estimat ors.
Chapter 11
16, 19, 21 November
Confidence intervals.
Chapter 12
26, 28, 30 November
Hypothesis tests.
Chapter 13
3, 5, 7 December
The two-variable regression model.
Chapter 14
10, 12 December
The multi-variate regression
Final Examination
14 December,
4: 30p.m.-7 :OOp.m.
150 points