# How to Write an Econometrics Paper

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Writing an econometrics paper involves focusing on a specific research question that requires a statistics-based answer. These papers have a fairly rigid structure that emphasizes four aspects of your research -- your original question, data, results and a conclusion with your recommendations for action.

• Econometrics is a field of study that answers questions about statistical trends related to various economic relationships. Your paper starts with an introduction that outlines your statistics-based research. Use this introduction to identify the research question you’re attempting to answer, explain why that question is important and how you attempt to answer it. Also indicate how your project relates to other projects in the field of econometrics; this is known as a literature review.

For example, Tomas Dvorak, an economics professor at Union College, provides a sample econometrics paper (often used as a model in the field) that attempts to answer the question “Does pay inequality within a team affect performance?” Dvorak explains that this question has troubled economists for the past 30 years and is relevant to anyone who works in a team-based profession.

## Highlight Relevant Statistical Data

• To introduce your research project, present your statistical findings. This presentation includes information about where your data comes from, as well as the variables used in collecting the data. In other words, you present the economic model used.

Also include relevant statistical analysis of the data. For example, in Dvorak’s sample paper, he explains how he collected data about baseball players' salaries, as well as their teams’ wins and losses, from freely accessible database websites. He then presented various statistical representations of this data, such as the average baseball player’s salary and the average number of teams' wins and losses.

## Analyze the Results

• After highlighting the data, your next move is to discuss your data analysis findings in an accessible format. You might accomplish this by using a table to present and organize the statistical information. Include an accompanying explanation of whether the data confirms or denies your hypothesis. For example, in his sample paper, Dvorak displays a table that demonstrates how baseball teams with wider player-salary disparities average less wins than teams with smaller salary disparities. He indicates that this suggests that pay inequality has an inverse relationship with on-the-field success for baseball teams.

## Explore the Implications

• In the final section of the paper, articulate the conclusion you reached through your analysis, emphasizing how it either confirms or denies your original hypothesis. In his commentary on his sample paper, Dvorak suggests summarizing how you reached your conclusion, as well as any potential implications that emerge. Make this final section point to other research projects that might be conducted. For example, Dvorak concludes his sample paper by suggesting that managers should strive for pay equality on their teams, as well as suggesting that other economists examine the topic in relationship to other types or professional sports.

## References

• Photo Credit Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images
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