The assignment is in two parts.
Presentation (not graded but required). The group must present its country case study to class (and upload slides)…on a day to be timetabled. There is a 10-minute time-limit. This is not graded but it is required. The purpose is to give the class material to think about in relation to specific real-world economies, but also use the presentations to provide feedback to the group on their work-in-progress. All group members must take part.
Final graded report. The group must submit a written Country Case Study Report (2500 words, by Friday of Week 14). This is what is assessed (for general assessment criteria, see the Rubric on the home page)
The topic and content
Groups are allotted a country. There will be two groups studying each country and they will present in class on the same day, with an informal class vote on whose study is the best.
You should summarise key features (and give key data) on the economic structure and macroeconomic trends. You must analyse and where appropriate explain the most important peculiarities and problems and identify key aims and issues for the macroeconomic policy of that particular nation.
You should spend roughly 1/5th of your time/space and effort outlining the economic structure (Themes 1-3 below): 2/5ths on macroeconomic fluctuationsrecent past and present (themes 4-6): and 2/5ths analysing key issues for policy. You must explain the trends you present. (For example, if there is high inflation, huge sovereign, debt, unusually high unemployment.)
This means you cannot just relate basic data but also read and supply explanations from your sources (newspapers, research reports books and research articles).
You should present data series over a fairly long time period so that there is some historical perspective (thus, for example, growth rates over 2 or 3 decades or more, not just the last year or quarter…and the same for other data, so we can identify and assess trends).
Here are issues to cover:
Describe the structure of the economy and the main sources of the country’s wealth. (What industries does it have, what agriculture, raw materials, minerals. What are its key imports and exports? How big is the public sector?)
What is the state of its balance of trade (exports relative to imports)? What is its position in terms of financial flows? Is it a net capital exporter or importer? Is there a deficit or surplus on either trade or financial accounts? What is the overall balance (adding them) Is the country accumulating debt or surplus over time?
What are its main national indicators GDP, GDP per capita, and health statistics, education, debt (public and private), productivity, population, growth, measures of inequality, well being, etc? And where does it stand in these key indices, compared to others?
What is its macroeconomic state? Is it in a recession, growing fast etc? And main macroeconomic/fluctuation indicatorslike inflation and unemploymentbut also output and income and investment growth (or lack of it). What is the state of government finances (spending and debt as a share of GDP)? What is the situation of its currency (is the exchange rate stable or volatile, rising or falling, is this helping or hindering the economy)?
What are the key features of its recent development? Use all or some of these indicators to tell the story of its recent experience.
What are the key current national economic issues and problems and thus what are the key current macroeconomic policy priorities?
Overall, you should think in terms of bringing the data alive….ask what story is it telling us?
Your writing and presenting should not be a dense recitation of statistics–you would present the data in charts and diagrams–the writing and talking should point out key trends and analyse possible causes or consequences.
Presenting and writing the report
When presenting, make sure you have mastered your material. Don’t read it (not even your own words and certainly not other peoples words). Similarly, don’t use others’ words in the report, summarise in your own words what you learn.
Make sure you understand what you are talking about (what does a certain index or figure or graph indicate?). Make an attempt to explain the numbers you are giving (again…ask ‘what is the story?’).
Make sure what you say and write is clear, logically organised and coherent (don’t go back and forth over the same material and issues because you’ve failed to coordinate and edit your collective efforts).
Make sure you’ve covered the key topic areas cited above. Don’t just do a cursory google search and throw down an arbitrary mix of things determined by whatever you find in the first one or two pages! Use the data sources indicated in my guidelines, and read articles and commentary to understand what you are saying. (Don’t repeat things you don’t understand, it looks childish and foolish. If you don’t understand….ask about it).
In both presenting and reporting, write clear, logical and professional English. Strive to give a mature impression, not ‘high school’ reporting. Imagine you are analysts briefing a client.
Make sure everyone in the group understands the country and can answer questions in Q&A (just being the person who digs up inflation data is not an adequate contribution to the project..you will be expected to be able to explain it and also talk about other issues). This means you should have group discussions to make sure all understand the entire case and have collective editing and responsibility.
If anyone fails to contribute the other group members can report this to me and that person will be removed from the group, not receive the group grade, and may fail the entire assignment.
ECN Country Study Report Rubric
ECN Country Study Report Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSummary of criteria
-Comprehensiveness of coverage of indicated in the assignment guidelines
-Adequacy of understanding and analysis
-Intelligence and quality of writing and presentation of data
100.0 to >89.9 pts
Full coverage of issues and breadth and depth of research not just of data but analytical issues. Sound grasp displayed in clear written analysis of key issues of the specific country, showing understanding of relevant economic phenomena and causal processes.
89.9 to >79.9 pts
Intelligent. Good research. Writing displays good understanding and coverage of most issues.
79.9 to >69.9 pts
Acceptable but with some lack of focus, weaknesses of writing or understanding and/or missing elements.
69.9 to >59.9 pts
Weak. Showing one or more of the following: Poor understanding and/or confusion and/or poor coverage of issues and data and/or weak writing
59.9 to >0 pts
Total Points: 100.0