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Assignment Description

ECS3200                                                                                                             Dr. O. Norrbin



Assignment 3 

Briefing on Economic Outlook

(Total scores: 15 points)


Due: Friday July 14th by 6:00 PM


This assignment is an individual work. Every student will have to submit the homework through SafeAssignment, located in the class Blackboard. [Beware that SafeAssignment can detect any partial copy sentences from other students’ work in the current and previous semesters and internet sources.] Late homework will be marked down 3 points for each day that it is late.


In this assignment, you will learn to access the World Bank database. Let us assume that your client (Dr. Norrbin) asks you (an analyst) to write a brief summary about overall economic conditions in a selected country. The company plans to expand its operation into a country in Asia. Before making any investment decision, I hire you to study the country’s economic performance. The task involves how to effectively articulate and present economic data. I will guide you through how to use the online data source and how to retrieve the data. Your job is to:


1.      Select a country of interest (choices are China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea (Republic of Korea), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam)

2.      Data Analysis o Select five data series (or more) that you want to include in your briefing o Create 5 exhibits (exhibits can be graphs, charts, or tables) o Write a short briefing explaining each exhibit you selected for the country


I have put together a sample briefing (posted on the Blackboard) to show you what I expect the final product to look like. The sample briefing is merely a suggestion (the format, the presentation, etc.), not limitation.


Data Series and Creating Exhibits

      Go to WDI Online (World Development Indicator, by World Bank http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/variableSelection/selectvariables.aspx?source= world-development-indicators ) → select World Development Indicator database

      Select a country → scroll up/down for a country and select the country of your choice. Then click “Apply change,” you will see your selected country on the right-hand side panel.

      Click on the “series” tab below, you will scroll up/down and select data series of your interest. Then click “Apply change,” you will see your selected data series on the righthand side panel. (See the list of “approved” data series on the next page). 

      Note that you need to choose one series (or a few series, if you want them plotted in the same chart) at a time in order to create an exhibit. Then redo the process for the next four exhibits.

      On the “time” page, select the time period of the data. Click the up/down arrows icon to choose data from 1960 to 2015 (“select all” time periods). Then click “Apply change.”

      After selecting country, data series and time, click on “Chart” button on the top right corner. You are now having the chart plotted for you. 

      Once you get the chart, click on the “export chat image” button (next to the “printer” icon on the top right corner of your chart) and save it in JPEG or PDF image. Crop and paste that chart into your Word document for a briefing report.

      Repeat these steps for 4 more charts.

      Up to this point, you should have 5 exhibits.

      Note that you can plot more than 1 series in each chart, if you feel like you can convey your data more effectively this way. For example, one may choose to plot exports and imports series together in the same chart to discuss about trade pattern. However, I will count this as one chart. 

      In the latest version of database update, several students cannot get the charts to look legible and clear. To fix this issue, you could take the screenshot and crop - paste your charts into the briefing.

      So, if you have trouble with chart legibility, try snipping it. Here are some instructions: click the Start button. In the search box, type Snipping Tool, and then, in the list of results, click Snipping Tool. In Snipping Tool, select  the New button, this will give you a plus shaped cursor that you can drag and release in order to cut out anything that is on your screen; hit Save this will save your graph as a picture that you can copy and paste into your assignment.  



Write a Briefing

As your client, I only see your final product. Make sure that it looks professional. The briefing need to have:

      You need to explain your exhibits. This is your assignment. You are paid top (imaginary) dollars to tell story about this country and your story must be supported by the statistical data you found. Keep in mind that you are hired to do research. The company’s potential profits depend on these facts, not how you feel about the country (so refrain from writing an opinion piece).  

      What to write: look at your charts and describe any patterns, trends, average values, any odd/irregularities, spikes in the data series. What does the data series you picked try to measure about this economy? Remember to write a conclusion paragraph at the end.

      Must have caption for each figure and table. Your figure and table titles inform the reader about the data series and time period of the data.

      Under each exhibit, you need to provide the source of the data. In this case, the source of data is “The World Bank, WDI data”.


Once you finish the assignment, SAVE YOUR FILE IN. PDF!!! Then, upload your work into SafeAssignment on the Blackboard (under “Assignment” link). If you run into any difficulty contact me at ....  SafeAssignment will be automatically turned off, once the dateline has passed. (You may have to allow pop-up in your internet option for it to work).  


Grading: I will grade this assignment based on 3 categories: exhibits (effective supporting evidence), written explanations (effectively explain the implication of the exhibits and understand the data), and the style (the delivery of the paper is done in a business-like fashion with appropriate section heading, exhibit heading, and source of the data). 



List of data series:

      Among the following series, choose 5 (or more) series to create 5 charts:

o   GDP growth (annual %) o Gross domestic saving (% of GDP) o Gross capital formation (% of GDP)

o   GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $) o Exports of goods + Services (BoP, current US$) o Imports of goods +Services (BoP, current US$) o Foreign direct investment, net (BOP, current US$) o Agricultural, value added (% of GDP) o Industry, value added (% of GDP) o Service, value added (% of GDP) o Manufacturing, value added (annual % growth) o Manufactures exports (% of merchandise exports) o Manufactures imports (% of merchandise imports)

o   Trade (% of GDP)

o   Household final consumption expenditure, PPP (current international $) o Health expenditure, total (% of GDP)

o   Income share held by highest 20% and income share held by lowest 20% o Research and development expenditure (% of GDP) o Labor force with tertiary education (% of total) o Central government debt, total (% of GDP) o Government expenditure on education as % of GDP (%) o Fuel exports (% of merchandise exports) o Fuel imports (% of merchandise imports)


      If you plot a chart and find out that there is no data in that particular series, choose a different data series (ex. if you have less than 10 years of data, choose some other series). There is no point to give the client (me) a report of blank chart and just saying that there is no data.

      Have fun working with data and I hope that you learn more about an Asian country from this assignment. 














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