Department of Economics

George Osborne Policy Paper Project (GOPPP)

Request for Proposals

(submission deadline Noon Tuesday May 18th, 2010)

Economic Graph

The George Osborne Policy Paper Project was created to support student investigation of economic policy issues. Participating students, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, will research an economic policy issue of their choice and develop a position paper.  The intended audience for the papers is the citizen interested in economic policy and its impact.  The economic analysis and evidence will be presented in a fashion that is understandable and useful to the interested reader. Ideally, two students will work on a similar economic policy and each would take an opposing position. The Project will support six papers.  Participants will receive stipends and there will be an awards dinner for student and faculty participants following completion of the project.

RFP (Request for Proposals) and Requirements

Overview

Each student must first obtain an Economics faculty mentor.  Participating students, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, will research an economic policy issue of their choice and develop a position paper to be completed by Friday October 15, 2010.  The intended audience for the papers is the citizen interested in economic policy and its impact.  The economic analysis and evidence will be presented in a fashion that is understandable and useful to the interested reader.  Students might also submit their papers for presentation at the Whitman Undergraduate Conference in spring 2011.

Proposal Submission

All Whitman College students are invited to submit a policy paper proposal (see submission form) by Noon Tuesday May 18th, 2010 (last day of spring finals).  Each proposal will include a one-page description of the policy issue, an annotated bibliography and a list of the student’s past and current economics courses (which must include Econ 307 or Econ 308, at a minimum) and other courses that might provide background knowledge about the policy issue.  The proposal must also acknowledge the October 15, 2010 deadline and will include the consent and signature of a faculty mentor.  Any member of the permanent (active) Economics Department faculty may serve as a mentor.  Faculty mentors will individually screen any proposal they agree to consider before they provide consent and a signature.

Up to six policy paper proposals will be selected by the GOPPP Administrator after consulting with Economics Department colleagues.  All submitted projects will be considered and selection will be made and announced within a week after the deadline for proposals.  Preference will be given to students writing about the U.S. national debt, economic growth, and/or macroeconomic policy and to those projects whose proposals are part of a team which would yield two papers with somewhat opposing views on an issue.  Proposals submitted after the first round proposals are approved will be considered if funding is available, though the same October 15th 2010 completion date applies.   

Each proposal will include -

Research and Writing

Students will research the professional economic literature (and other potential sources) on their topic and write a paper (around 20 pages) in which they assert, critically analyze, and support a position on their chosen policy issue.   An important feature of this exercise is that students will have to present their arguments in terms that are accessible to a non-economist, and this is quite different from the standard papers required of students in their economics courses.  Faculty mentors will offer guidance and support which includes commenting on drafts of the paper.

Dissemination of the Policy Papers

Completed position papers will be posted on the Economics Department Project website with a summary report of the projects by December 1, 2010.  Students will also be encouraged to apply to present their work at the Whitman College Undergraduate Conference scheduled on Tuesday April 12th 2011. 

Payment of Student Stipends

Payment of a $300 stipend will be made to the student at the project midpoint and the final $1000 will be paid upon satisfactory completion of the paper.  (Satisfactory completion will be judged by the faculty mentor.)

Questions or Comments?
Please contact the GOPPP Administrator
Dr. R. Pete Parcells
parcells@whitman.edu
509-527-5267


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