To do this assignment you will need to retrieve data and use information in assigned readings

| April 14, 2018

Women’s Economic RolesFirst Paper AssignmentWrite a 5-7 page double-spaced typed paper (4-6 pages, not including tables, graphs and bibliography) on one of the topics described below. Please use 12-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins. In this paper you are asked to examine an important economic trend in women’s economic activity over the last 40 years and differences in economic activity among women. In addition you will need to conjecture about the underlying economic factors that account for the changes over time (or differences among women) and discuss how these trends affect economic outcomes for men and women today. The goal of the paper is for you to understand and work comfortably with economic data and arguments, and to convey your understanding in a short well-written paper.To do this assignment you will need to retrieve data and use information in assigned readings and your class notes. You do not need to do other research beyond finding data and applying your assigned readings and information from class. Your assigned readings will help you find information you need to discuss the reasons for the trends and implications of these trends as well what data is used to discuss these trends. In addition you will also need to sift through and retrieve data. Finding the data will be easy, what is not easy is deciding which data to use to best make your arguments. Please use the data sources I point out (mostly Census Bureau) on the class handout “Finding Data on Women’s and Men’s Economic Activity.” That handout will lead you directly to the data you need. Document your sources properly (see class handout “Correctly Documenting Data Used in Papers” to see how, including examples). You should also consult UMass Boston’s Healy Library’s web page and links on citations (http://umb.libguides.com/citations) for information on how to correctly cite sources. Pickone of the following topics:1) Marriage patterns and living arrangements among men and women.Discuss the major changes in marriage patterns and living arrangements over the last 40 (or so) years among women and men. At a minimum you should include the percentages of men and women that are married and those that are not (you can break that down by never married, divorced or separated, or widowed) over time. You should also include other indicators of the changes in household structure. You do not have to include every year, but include enough to show the trends. In addition, include information on differences among women currently by race and/or ethnicity and across countries (pick 5 or 6 that make sense to compare). Briefly address some of the underlying economic factors that might help explain the changes in men’s and women’s patterns over time and/or differences among women. Finally discuss some of the economic implications of the change in marriage patterns for men and women (i.e. in what ways do these trends matter). Include tables and/or graphs which succinctly depicts these changes. Feel free to include additional data (i.e. mean age at marriage; level of co-habitation; distribution of families by type) to help illustrate your arguments. Please include a bibliography.2) Labor force participation rates of men and women.Discuss the change in men’s and women’s labor force participation rates over the last 40 (or so) years. At a minimum, you should include the labor force participation rates of men and women over time. In addition include data on differences among women currently for two of the following: race, age, presence of children (under 18), or country (pick 5 or 6 that make sense to compare). Briefly address some of the underlying economic factors that might help explain the changes in men’s and women’s patterns over time and/or differences among women. Finally, discuss some of the important economic implications of the changes in men’s and women’s labor force participation patterns for families (i.e. in what ways do these trends matter). Include tables and/or graphs which succinctly depicts these changes. Feel free to include additional data (i.e. labor force participation rates for women with children under 6; differences in labor force participation for women 25-44 over time) to help illustrate your arguments. Please include a bibliography.3) Earnings of women compared to men.Discuss the changes in the median or mean earnings of men and women over the last 40 (or so) years. You should include the ratio of women’s median or mean earnings to that of men’s, and discuss how this ratio has changed over time. You should also include differences among women currently for two the following differences: race, age, presence of children (under the age of 18), and educational level. Briefly address some of the underlying economic factors that might help explain the changes in men’s and women’s patterns over time and/or differences among women. Finally, discuss some of the important economic implications of the changes in men’s and women’s earnings patterns for men and women and for families (i.e. in what ways do these trends matter). NOTE: When presenting earnings data over any time period you will need to make sure either to adjust them for price changes over time (i.e. use inflation-adjusted numbers) or present them as ratios of earnings (e.g. of women to men). See handout on finding and updating data. Include tables and/or graphs which succinctly depict these changes. Feel free to include additional data (i.e. earnings by race over time; earnings by occupational category) to help illustrate your arguments. Please include a bibliography.Notes/Tips on presenting tables and graphsMaking tables and graphs. Excel creates excellent tables and graphs. I’d like you to use Excel to produce your tables and graphs and then “cut and paste” them into your paper. You can put them at the end of the paper (label them, and reference them from within your paper) if that is easier.Titles and labels. Be sure to label your tables (e.g. Table 1, Table 2) and graphs (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2) and refer to the table/graph by its label in the text (especially if all tables and figures are at the end of the document). Also give your tables and graphs descriptive titles (e.g. Labor Force Participation Rates of Men and Women 1970-2007) and be sure table columns and each graph axis are properly labeled. Make sure tables are readable. A tables with 40 rows of data is NOT east to read and should not be used. If you use a table, try to include no more than 10 rows of data. If you want to show a trend over time, pick appropriate intervals.A picture is worth 100 words – if it is the right picture. There are usually 3 types of graphs you can use: a pie chart, a line graph, or a bar graph. Use the right one! A pie chart is very good for showing the composition of something (i.e. something that adds up to 100 percent), but are not good for showing patterns over time. A line graph is excellent when you have many data points to display. So if you have data for 40 years (e.g. labor force participation rates), a line graph works very well. A bar graph works well at displaying differences. But, try not to use more than 20 bars on one graph or else it becomes unreadable.Variety is good. Mix it up. Use tables and graphs in your paper and if it makes sense, use different kinds of graphs. What tables and graphs can and cannot do. Tables and graphs can make the data work for you to easily show trends over time and/or differences among women today. The data can depict trends and differences, but it cannot explain those trends or differences. You still need to speculate/hypothesize/conjecture about the reasons why, but without more data and statistical analysis, you cannot definitely explain them. You can however, discuss what various researchers have found about why these trends occur or differences exist. Compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Make sure when you look at differences among women, you are comparing the same thing. For example, you will want to make sure you are comparing labor force participation rates by race for women the same ages. International data may be especially tricky to compare. Be sure you read and understand what and who is being measured and do not stretch comparisons across datasets beyond where they should go.

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