The Macroeconomy

Research Assignment
The objective of this assignment is to have students to undertake a small research project and write
it up in a formal, academic way.
Students should draw on the relevant theories and contextualise them with respect to the question.
Also, they are required to cite additional empirical evidence to support conclusions (reference the
evidence appropriately using in-text citations). Provide diagrams to explain the theory where
appropriate. Diagrams must be clearly and correctly labelled, and you should actually refer to them
in your explanation. Descriptive statistics, graphs and tables, will be sufficient for data analysis.
Econometric analysis is not required.
30% of overall assessment
Task Description
Students are required to form groups with 3 to 4 members to write an essay on the question given
below. The essay length should be 2,500 words  10%.
Essay question
The Solow growth model predicts that a higher saving rate leads to a higher level of income per
capita. It also predicts that the steady-state growth rate in income per capita depends on
technological progress.
Critically evaluate these statements with reference to economic outcomes in China and the USA.
Guidelines to complete the question.
 Use the Solow growth model to discuss the relationship between saving rates, income per
capita and economic growth rates. Use appropriate diagrams.
 Discuss how the observed saving rates, income per capita and economic growth rates in
China and the USA can be explained in terms of the Solow growth model.
 Discuss the relationships between national saving, consumption per capita and economic
policy in the two countries.
 The Solow growth model considers only changes in physical capital. How does the concept
of “human capital” formation affect your analysis?
 Discuss the saving – investment gap in the USA and China. What are the economic
implications for the two countries?
 Use data, graphs and/or tables to support your analysis as necessary
 Descriptive statistics, graphs and tables, will be sufficient. You are not required to do
econometric analysis.
Marking Criteria
Your assignment will be marked on the following criteria:
 Clarity of objective and focus of work
 Use of appropriate macroeconomic theory
 Use of literature/evidence of research
 Analysis of relevant data
 Structure and clarity of expression (including accuracy, spelling, punctuation, grammar)
 Referencing
The essay must be appropriately referenced using the Harvard style.
You should use authoritative sources. Unreliable sources, such as Wikipedia, should not be used
(anyone can edit an entry in Wikipedia). Try to use some formal journal articles. The list of
references should include only sources that you have actually used in writing the essay. It is not a
Do not use URLs as in-text references.
Suggested Format
Your essay should contain a title, an introduction, a main section (the main section can be broken
into subsections such as theoretical model description, data analysis etc), a conclusion and
references. Provide appropriate headings for each section. (Do not call the main section “Main
Do not include an abstract.
Do not include appendices. Markers will not read appendices.
Use 1.5 or double spacing. Do not use single spacing.
Label graphs and tables appropriately and where necessary provide a citation.
Some additional advice is given in a note called “How to write”.
The essay must be submitted in electronically via the Group Assignment folder on the ECON7021
Blackboard site. More details will be provided closer to the submission date.
The late submission penalty will be 3 marks per day.
Marking Scheme
There are two components to the marking scheme.
The submitted assignment will be marked out of 28. Marks will be awarded according to the criteria
listed above. Essays where it is obvious that there has only been a token effort made at referencing
or where there is no referencing will be heavily penalised.
The remaining 2 marks is for peer assessment. Each student will evaluate the contributions of the
other members of group on a scale of 0 to 2. Students will receive an average of the other group
members’ evaluations of their contribution to the project. Peer assessment will be submitted
anonymously through Blackboard.
The scoring scheme for peer assessment is shown below.
Peer Assessment Scoring Scheme:
2 Made an above average contribution to the assignment
1.5 Made an average contribution to the assignment.
1 Made a less than average contribution
0.5 Made a token effort only
0 Contributed nothing to the assignment
Special Note: If a group unanimously reports that a member has made no contribution to the
project, the group members will be interviewed and the offending student will receive a failing mark
for the assignment.
The peer assessment link will be available on Blackboard after the submission date.
See Section 6.1 of the Course Profile for the University’s policy on plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious
academic offence and can lead to severe penalties.
Use the plagiarism detection software Turnitin to check the originality of your essay. You can run
drafts of your essay through Turnitin as many times as you like before you submit your final version.
Turnitin is located in the Assessment folder on Blackboard.

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