## Free interactive learning software

I’ve come across a very useful tool while looking at open access fisheries models. The Wolfram Demonstrations Project offers free interactive software for a variety of economic concepts. The software allows the user to play with various models and get an instant visualization. No more ~~guessing~~ economic reasoning about what happens to economic rents; now it only takes a few clicks. In the fisheries model I played with, I could slide a bar to increase price or units of effort.

Their YouTube channel gives a quick peak at over 6000 of their interactive models. Watch 20-second clips of what you can do with the model and then decide which ones to play with. Very effective time-saving! Now if only I can stay focused on my topic instead of playing with this software…

## Stata and Excel help: Descriptive statistics

This is by far the best tutorial on descriptive statistics commands in Stata. Exel commands are given also in the first half of this very long page.

http://www.princeton.edu/~otorres/Excel/excelstata.htm

Thank you, Princeton!

## Economics blogs

Here are a few economics blogs you may want to follow:

- William Easterly’s Aid Watch blog
- Economics Roundtable
- William Polley’s Comments on Economics blog

I will add to this list as I come across interesting blogs. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions!

## Stata help

As part of my data analysis for my honours thesis I’ve had to use Stata. Having learned EViews over the past two years didn’t help at all, except when it came to looking for answers! I found this Queen’s University guide to Stata by Mike Abbott: http://econ.queensu.ca/pub/graduate/stata/

Here is a breakdown of the tutorials to help you find which tutorial you need for that pesky Stata problem!

Tutorial 1: **Getting Started with Stata**

Tutorial 2: **Introduction to Selected Stata Commands**

Tutorial 3: **The Basics of OLS Estimation in ***Stata*

Tutorial 4: **Generating and Graphing Predicted Values and Residuals After ****OLS Estimation**

Tutorial 5: **Hypothesis Testing of Individual Regression Coefficients: Two-Tail ****t-tests, Two-Tail F-tests, and One-Tail t-tests**

Tutorial 6: **Functional Form and Variable Re-scaling in Simple Linear ****Regression Models**

Tutorial 7: **Estimation and Hypothesis Testing in Multiple Linear Regression ****Models**

Tutorial 8: **Using Dummy Variable Regressors to Test for Coefficient ****Differences in Multiple Linear Regression Models**

Hopefully these tutorials will help get you going!

## Macroeconomics guide: Jones’s Trick

Macroeconomics is full of production functions. In Econ 333, Introduction to Economic Growth, finding the growth rates of variables in various production functions is a key learning objective. Check out the Jones’s Trick handout for a straight-forward guide that will teach you how to come up with growth rates for variables in a variety of equations.

This handout is shared with permission of the author, Dr. Kenneth Stewart.

## How to write a critical review of an academic journal article

Your professor has asked you to write a critical review of a paper. Where do you start?

The questions below are a great kick-off point. Read them, then read your article. While reading your article, make notes and brainstorm answers to the questions. You might find it helpful to skim the article once, and then go back and look at the areas of interest in more detail.

A typical review should be 2 – 3 pages long (or whatever your professor specifies) and should address (at least) the following issues:

• What question is the author(s) trying to address and why is this interesting? What

contribution does this article make to the understanding of the issue?

• How do the authors answer or analyze the question? That is do the authors use a

theoretical model, econometric analysis, etc? What are the main (crucial) assumptions

the authors make? How sensitive are the results/conclusions to these assumptions?

• What are the weaknesses in the article? Imagine that you were assigned to defend a

policy that was brought into question by the findings contained in the article. How

would you do so?

• You may find it useful to do some research, i.e. look up one or two relevant articles.

These questions were given to me as part of an assignment in a course in Canadian Microeconomic Policy. In the name of knowledge mobilization I am sharing them with you! I hope you found it helpful.