EC314 AUGUST 2015 RESIT ASSESSMENT

This resit assessment is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the taught material on EC314 Data Analysis for Economists. The assessment replicates the style and type of activities undertaken as part of the computer workshop and seminar class activities in Weeks 1-11.

Marks will be awarded on the basis of the clarity and quality of your answer to each question. Particular attention will be paid to the presentation, explanation and interpretation of your findings. You should ensure that key concepts are defined and discussed appropriately. You should not use bullet points when answering the question.

You should ensure that any graphs, tables or charts that you generate are informative and meaningful. Data sources should be cited.

Marks for each section of the question are reported in parentheses.

The completed resit assessment should be submitted online via the module folder on Moodle no later than 4pm Friday 14 August 2015.

1. Go to the OECD website (www.oecd.org) and click on the “Data” tab at the top of the page. Browse/search for General Government Debt expressed as a percentage (%) of GDP. Select and download data for the period 2007 to 2013. Restrict your sample to the following 21 countries:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

The above selection criteria should result your sample to 21 countries.

a)

Use a bar graph to display the 2007 and 2013 measure of Government Debt levels for each of the 21 countries (use a single graph for all countries).

[10 marks]

b)

Discuss the main features of the data and comment on observable differences

i) between countries and ii) over time.

[10 marks]

c)

Report descriptive statistics for 2007 and 2013 separately and comment on any significant differences between them (hint: report the statistics in a table).

[10 marks]

d)

Use the 2013 data to generate a histogram based on bins (class intervals) of 10 per cent. Report the frequency table and histogram then comment on the shape of the distribution. Compare this finding with the descriptive statistics discussed in part c).

[10 marks]

e)

Explain the key differences between a bar graph and histogram and the relative merits of each.

[10 marks]

Turn over

EC314 AUGUST 2015 RESIT ASSESSMENT

2.

a)

Suppose I deposit £10,000 at the beginning of the year at 4% interest per annum.

What is the final value of the deposit after 6 years:

i) When interest is paid on a simple basis?

ii) When interest is compounded annually?

iii) When interest is compounded monthly?

What is the Effective Annual Rate (EAR) for part iii)?

[8 marks]

b)

Assuming that I can borrow and lend any amount at 6% per year, with interest paid or received annually in arrears:

i) What is the present discounted value (PV) of £30,000 due 5 years from now?

ii) What principal (lump sum) must I invest now in order to have £250,000 in 25 years’ time?

[8 marks]

c)

A businessman wishes to set up a trust fund to support his child whilst at University. He requires the fund to pay £12,000 per annum across a three year period.

i) How much does he need to invest if money can be invested at 4% per annum with interest compounded monthly?

ii) Demonstrate that this investment is sufficient to generate the desired £12,000 per annum for each year.

[12 marks]

d)

Your lecturer plans to purchase a new mobile phone handset at a cost of £600 and is offered finance terms of 24 equal monthly instalments at 3.8% APR with interest charged on the outstanding debt on a monthly basis.

i) What is the amount of each monthly payment?

ii) What is the total amount of interest to be paid?

[8 marks]

e)

Distinguish between the CPI, RPI and RPIJ price indices and report and comment on the latest UK inflation rate using these three indicators of inflation.

[8 marks]

g)

Explain why economists are concerned with using data measured in “real” rather than “nominal” values. What challenges may this present to the researcher when undertaking data analysis?

[6marks]

Note that for parts 2a to 2d it is important to explain how you derive each answer.

Turn over

EC314 AUGUST 2015 RESIT ASSESSMENT

3.

A Scottish mining company owns two different mines (A and B) from which it extracts iron ore. The two mines are located in different areas and produce different qualities of ore. Once mined, the ore is separated into three grades: high-, medium- and low-grade.

Mine A produces .75 tonnes of high-grade ore, 0.25 tonnes of medium-grade ore and 0.5 tonnes of low-grade ore per hour. Mine B produces .25 tonnes of high-grade ore, 0.25 tonnes of medium-grade ore and 1.5 tonnes of low-grade respectively.

The firm has contracts to supply a minimum of 36 tonnes of high-grade ore, 24 tonnes of medium-grade ore and 72 tonnes of low-grade ore per week.

Mine A costs £50 per hour to operate whilst Mine B costs £40 per hour.

This information is summarised in the Table below:

Mine Output

(Tonnes of Ore per hour)

Type of Ore

A

B

Requirements

(Tonnes per week)

High grade

0.75

0.25

36

Medium grade

0.25

0.25

24

Low grade

0.50

1.50

72

Operating cost (£ per hour)

50

40

a)

Write down expressions for the constraints and cost

[12 marks]

b)

Use the Excel Solver add-in to determine the number of hours per week that each mine should operate in order to minimise cost

[4 marks]

c)

Calculate the quantity of each grade of ore that is surplus to requirement at the cost minimising level of output

[4 marks]

d)

Check your answers by solving this linear problem using graphical analyses:

i.

Sketch the constraints (you may use computer software if you prefer)

[6 marks]

ii.

Shade in the feasible region and indicate the direction of decreasing cost

[6 marks]

iii.

Determine graphically the cost minimising level of output

[6 marks]

e)

Confirm your answer algebraically using extreme point theorem

[12 marks]

End

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