ECON 2302 – Spring 2019 The Project
Comparative Advantages, Poverty, and Trade: A Socio-Economic Argumentative Essay
Instructor: Dr. Ibrahim Abou-Saad
Project Link: • https://comtrade.un.org/pb/downloads/2017/VolI2017.pdf • Content: The International Trade Statistics Yearbook 2017 • Publisher: United Nations’ Statistics Division – Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
How to read the report: • Open the above link, and download the PDF file to your computer. • When you skim reading the report you will notice the following:
o Starting page number “1” you find “Part 1”, which shows the merchandise trade profiles for the world (regional and selected trade or economic groupings).
o Starting page 31 (index of countries) until page 371, the report provides a country by country trade profile, alphabetically, for most countries in the world.
o In each country’s trade profile, there exist summary profile on the first page, and at the end of the page you can see “Table 1” which shows each country’s “top 10 export commodities” for the different periods between 2015 and 2017.
Project File: • In D2L (under Content), you can find tab called “Project”, under this “Project” tab you can find a file named “UN Table 1.”
This PDF file includes data on selected countries with different percentages of poverties (poverty gap) for the year 2015. The Project:
• You will have to write a socio-economic essay on the link between different poverty levels of different countries and the countries’ comparative advantages of different products, or group of products.
Step-by-Step Instructions (Mandatory): (required to pass the project). • Compare at least 10 countries of your choice with different poverty gaps (preferred: include both developed and developing
countries). • Investigate whether there exists a trend between the change in the poverty gaps (%) and the specific products that the
country exports the most (In this project you always assume that countries export most the products in which they enjoy comparative advantages in producing them.
• Conduct an academic literature review on your analysis (required: at least three academic articles). • Using your own conducted literature review, explain why such trends exist or do-not-exist. • Use your analysis to investigate which are the most significant products that high-poverty countries export? which are the
most significant products that low-poverty countries export, which are the most significant products that medium-poverty countries export, and try to investigate if there is a trend. Compare your analysis by your findings from the literature review.
• Do not use the “top 10 imported commodities” in the International Trade Statistics Yearbook 2017 (usually table 4 at the end of the country-by-country profiles), as some countries may still import products with high rate of comparative advantages due to other reasons.
• You will have to provide table(s) and/or chart(s) that show your summary of the countries you have selected. Be creative. • Close to the end of the project, explain how your analysis depended on your understanding of the textbook’s materials (only
required topics of chapter 2 and chapter 15). Textbook: Principles of Microeconomics, 7th edition, by Robert H. Frank, Ben Bernanke, Kate Antonovics, and Ori Heffetz. McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.
• Minimum of 2500 words is required, excluding the abstract, titles, charts, and tables. An abstract is optional. • In your writing, presume that the reader never took an economics class. When talking about certain definition or topic,
assume the reader have never learned about it before, therefore, do not forget to define your terms, explain them (at least briefly), and never assume that the reader knows!
Required Format: • Strictly use the same format of one of your reviewed studies.
Important Hints: 1. Read online about how to conduct an “argumentative essay.” 2. Every research has a research problem, so start by identifying the research problem. The research problem is
telling the reader why this essay is important to read. You can use recent trends in trade to justify the research problem, or maybe a recent change in global competitiveness that has major impacts on the economies you are analyzing, in which your essay is imposing important analysis and significant findings. In the very beginning of your introduction, try to get the reader attentive to your research problem.
3. You can choose your own essay’s title that relates to the rule of socio-economic measures in global competitiveness, or simply use the title of the project as your essay’s title. The tile of the project is “Comparative Advantages, Poverty, and Trade: A Socio-Economic Argumentative Essay.”
4. ” If using your own topic, make your topic as focused as possible, and avoid using broad or far-reaching topics. 5. You need to look at many published academic articles, not articles published in journals like The New York
Times, or similar journals. Then review the articles that are as close to your topic as it can get. To find the published academic articles, use academic search engines such as:
6. Use the structure of the citation exactly matching the paper or journal you chosen to follow its format. For example, either “Sam et al., 2000” or “Sam, David, and Tom, 2000”, or any other known academic citation used in social sciences.
7. Do not use strong claims without proper citation, even if it makes a lot of logic to you. 8. Do not claim accuracy of a statement or an idea simply because it was mentioned, or even proven, by the
literature. 9. Do not forget about the rules of assumptions, where you can observe concepts varying when changing the
model assumptions. 10. Do not ever forget to quote in bold text when you retype a statement from of a reference. For example; Sam
et el., 2000 define this word as “social and behavioral aspect of any topic.” As you see, the statement is quoted in bold text.
11. You have to use the rule of microeconomics by not analyzing the total trade of all goods and services between the economies, you will have to select few products or specific type of products. For example, the international market for ice cream, or international market frozen desserts in general.
12. You do not have to use the most recent data or articles, but try to relate your work to more recent data (such as academic articles published after the year 2012).
13. Make sure to use clear wordings, avoid syntax errors, and use correct punctuations. 14. Do not retype same statement over and over again in different structures. 15. Revise your work more than one time, as many times as possible. You will always see something to adjust
every time you revise your work. This is a continuous process in practical research, and the more revising you do, the better the work you will produced.
16. Draw an outline in the beginning, and end up with a draft before typing the project. 17. Use prime times of the day to work in your essay. 18. It is good to have subtitles in your essay. 19. While working on the project, avoid printing/considering the whole report. Only print/consider required
pages. For example, only print the individual front profile pages for the selected countries (one front-page for each country).
20. Read the grading rubrics to know how your project will be evaluated. Maximum points for the project equal 100 points.
Specific Objective(s): • Read online about how to conduct an “argumentative essay.” • Analyze a narrowed topic related to “the rule of socio-economic measures in international trade.” • Collect references of at least three published academic studies on the topic. • Identify the main argument(s) of the essay. • Discuss whether the argument(s) being the same and/or different among the collected literature. • Recognize the rule of assumptions in modeling and argumentative perceptions. • Discuss how the argument(s) may change under different assumptions/environments. • Use the learning form Chapters 2 and 15 to analyze comparative advantages and international trade.
Foundational Component Area (FCA): • “Social & Behavioral Sciences” – ECON 2302 – Microeconomics
Core Objective(s): • Critical Thinking (CTH) – This is a sub-objective of the Intellectual and Practical Objective – Critical thinking is a habit
of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. Definition Source: https://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/critical-thinking
• Written Communication (WRC) – This is a sub-objective of the Intellectual and Practical Objective – Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum. Definition Source: https://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/written-communication
• Quantitative Literacy (QL) – This is a sub-objective of the Intellectual and Practical Objective – also known as Numeracy or Quantitative Reasoning (QR) – is a “habit of mind,” competency, and comfort in working with numerical data. Individuals with strong QL skills possess the ability to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations. They understand and can create sophisticated arguments supported by quantitative evidence and they can clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats (using words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc., as appropriate). Definition Source: https://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/quantitative-literacy
• Intercultural Knowledge and Competence (IKC) – This is a sub-objective of the Social Responsibility Objective – Intercultural Knowledge and Competence is “a set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.” (Bennett, J. M. 2008. Transformative training: Designing programs for culture learning. In Contemporary leadership and intercultural competence: Understanding and utilizing cultural diversity to build successful organizations, ed. M. A. Moodian, 95-110. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.) Definition Source: https://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/intercultural-knowledge