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Economics

Workshop

Understanding Uncertainty Amid the Pandemic and it's Economic Effects

Who is this Workshop for?

High school students who are interested in doing research in the areas of economics, history, finance, political science, or sociology.

Prerequisites

None

 

Workshop Description

As the coronavirus ravages our lives, another thing is going viral – uncertainty. Will I have my job tomorrow? When can I go back to school? When will the pandemic end? What will be the new normal? Is the coronavirus going to become another virus that we have to live with? When will we have a vaccine? These questions are just a few examples of what’s on people’s minds. Our decisions, mundane and consequential, are being affected by both the pandemic and uncertainty. Business and policy decisions are also being influenced by the two viral phenomena. Few other times in our lives has it been more acutely important to understand uncertainty and its effects on the economy. Thus, this course. What is economic uncertainty? How does it affect families, businesses and countries? Does uncertainty matter equally for all, or are some able to weather it better than others? What determines how we fare amid uncertainty? These are the kinds of questions we will tackle in this summer course.

Course Overview
Economics is a social science that relies heavily on intuition and math. This summer, we will focus on the intuition and concepts and apply them to our present that urgently needs navigation. To that end, we will read scholarly research articles that design measures of uncertainty, document its patterns over time, and examine its effects. You will have the opportunity to work on a research project aimed at analyzing the effects of pandemic-induced uncertainty.

Course Objectives
By the end of this course, you would have received an overview of the most cutting-edge research on economic uncertainty. You would build an understanding of when and why uncertainty is heightened and how it can affect the global economy as well as our everyday lives. The research project will help develop research skills including ideating, designing a research strategy, data analyses, and academic writing. More broadly, this course will challenge you to think critically and become more informed citizens.

Sample Research Topics

Your research projects will be centered on understanding uncertainty amid the pandemic and its economic effects. How is uncertainty affecting various sectors such as schools, restaurants, retail stores, E-commerce, real estate, and healthcare? Or, how is uncertainty affecting different income or racial groups differently? Are there difference by gender in uncertainty effects? You can choose one of these or another question that interests you.

For your analysis, you will need to read economic news available from reliable sources, summarize them coherently to build an essay that paints a detailed and objective picture of what you learn. It may be that scholarly research is already being produced on the topic you choose, in which case, you can add those articles to your reading. You can also use data to add your own findings to your essay. This will help you build statistics and data visualization skills. Depending on what topic you choose, I can direct you to appropriate data sources. I will guide you every step of the way.