Due Date: Monday Week 5 (May 1) (end of class).
Approximate length: 4 pages including figures.
There are two parts to this assignment. Read each part thoroughly and then look at the hints for
Part A (1 page)
1. There is a dataset on the class website (mainpage) called “world_gdppop_19702010.txt”.
This is a text file, you will be able to open it in Excel and most other spreadsheet programs.
2. The file contains data on GDP in constant 2005 US dollars for 1970 and for 2010, along with
population data for the same two years. Both variables (GDP and population) are in units of 1
3. Following what you have learned in class, make a scatterplot with these data to show that
GDP per capita is not, on average, converging between poorer countries and richer countries
over the period 1970 to 2010.
(Your scatterplot should have a title, labels on both axes and a “best-fit” or trend-line…..you can
hand draw this if you can’t get your spreadsheet to co-operate.)
4. In a few sentences explain what the scatterplot is telling you.
1. You will need to calculate GDP per capita, some growth rates and then construct your plot.
2. You must produce the scatterplot with Excel or another spreadsheet/data analysis program.
You must not draw it free-hand.
3. You do not need to enter any data, everything you need is in the data file. Do all calculations
using a spreadsheet, not by hand.
4. I know that some of you may not have produced a figure/scatterplot before. So ask me how to
do this. Come along to office hours as soon as possible or make an appointment to see me. I will
also place a couple of you-tube tutorials on the class website.
Part B (3 pages)
In this part of the assignment you are going to be examining some labor productivity data
for the United States and another country of your choice.
1. For the United States, detail the growth of labor productivity (GDP per capita) over the period
1950-2010 (or as closely as possible to these dates depending on data availability). You should
make sure that you show the following information:
a. Make a figure showing the annual values of labor productivity over time (label all axes etc.).
b. Report the start year and end year values of labor productivity.
c. Calculate and show the simple growth rate of labor productivity for the period as a whole.
d. Calculate the annual average compound rate of growth of labor productivity in the United
States, for the study period as a whole and for any important sub-periods.
2. Choose a second country and discuss the changes in this country’s labor productivity over the
same time period (1950-2010) or as close to that period as possible.
(Repeat the analysis above (Part B 1a-1d) for your second country. Note that data are unavailable
for some countries until the 1960s or even more recently.)
3. Compare the productivity performance of the U.S. and the other country that you have chosen
over the years examined.
Use the Penn World Tables, Version 9 from http://www.rug.nl/ggdc/productivity/pwt/
1.Choose online data access tool
2. Choose thematic select (top left corner)
3. In the pop-up box choose expand all
4. You need real gdp (output-side real GDP at chained PPPs (in mil. 2011 US$)
5. And you need population (in millions)
**choose these two boxes (rows 2 and 3 under the first heading)
6. Now choose Regions(0)
7. Just chose USA
8. Then choose Periods(0)
9. Select all
10. Toggle display to make sure you have everything
11. Export to .csv (text file) or to .xlsx(excel)
12. Save the file
13. Repeat for country 2.
1. I am not looking for any historical information, that is, explanations for the trends that you
observe. I simply want you to present the figures and explain what they tell you, reporting data
values and growth rates.
2. Ask for help if you are unsure.
3. START EARLY!!
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