Department of Economics

George Osborne Policy Paper Project (GOPPP)

Economic Graph

The George Osborne Policy Paper Project was created to support student investigation of economic policy issues. All Whitman students are eligible to participate if they meet minimum requirements. 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. Participants will receive stipends and there will be an awards dinner for student and faculty participants following completion of the project.

Up to six policy paper proposals will be selected. 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.    

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.  Students will also be encouraged to apply to present their work at the Whitman College Undergraduate Conference in April 2011. 

Questions or Comments?
Please contact the GOPPP Administrator
Dr. R. Pete Parcells

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