● Any diagrams or graphs included should be drawn (either on the computer in Word, Excel etc. or by hand and then clearly scanned) and included at the appropriate place in the main document.
● If equations or maths notation are included, they should be embedded in the document using an appropriate equation editor.
● This assignment should be between 1200 and 1500 words.
Key Marking Criteria of this coursework:
There will be a lot of focus on these following aspects of the work:
● Appropriate communication of economics with expert and non-expert audiences
● Appropriate use of graphical and/or mathematical models and/or methodologically informed narrative to explain economic behaviour and current events in economics
● Presentation of the report (including clarity of the writing, formal referencing and satisfying the word limit).
Read the following extracts and then task in the box below:
“Before the crisis, students were completing an average of 11.2 years of schooling throughout their school-age lives. However, when adjusted for the quality of learning, that amounted to only 7.9 years of schooling. According to Simulating COVID-19 impacts on learning and schooling outcomes: A set of global estimates, 5 months of school closures due to COVID-19 will result in an immediate loss of 0.6 years of schooling adjusted for quality, bringing the effective learning that a student can achieve down from 7.9 years to 7.3 years.”
Schrader-King, K. (2020), COVID-19 Could Lead to Permanent Loss in Learning and Trillions of Dollars in Lost Earnings, World Bank
“The costs of school closure and the associated learning losses go beyond the lower incomes that this cohort of students can expect. A less skilled work force also implies lower rates of national economic growth. A loss of one-third of a year in effective learning for just the students affected by the closures of early 2020 will, by historical data, lower a country’s GDP by an average of 1.5% over the remainder of the century.”
Hanushek, E. & Woessman, L. (2020), The Economic Impacts of Learning Losses, OECD
(1) Choose one of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa or Sweden.
(2) For your chosen country, produce a report to inform a government policymaker about how the fall in productivity resulting from lost education during a crisis such as Covid-19 can affect a country’s labour market and exacerbate existing inequality.
The report should be 1200-1500 words in length and follow the further guidance section below. The main report should be accessible to a general audience with no prior knowledge of economics. It should be supplemented with a technical appendix, where the model is discussed in a way which is suitable for a specialist audience.
Part A: Main Report
Target Audience: General audience with no prior knowledge of economics. You should avoid using technical language in this section. Where it is unavoidable you should make sure the term is briefly explained to make it accessible to the target audience.
Suggested word length: 600-750 words
The main report should cover the following in a way which is appropriate for the target audience:
● Description of data on lost education and inequality
○ This section should use data to give an overview on inequality and the impact of Covid on schooling in the chosen country. There is an Excel data set for the 10 countries provided to us which I’ve attached. The focus of the section should be on describing the data (eg. descriptions of any graphs included and embedding any statistics into a well written narrative) so that the reader has a good understanding of the most relevant points on lost school education due to Covid-19 and the state of inequality in the country.
○ It is required to include a bar chart using the school closure days data (variables A and/or B) in the Excel data set provided. The graph should show the number of full closure days in each country, but you may also find a suitable way to include the information on partial visit days.
○ Good work will also show evidence of independent research into the chosen country and include information and data relevant to the task which goes beyond what was provided.
○ You must not include any graphs you have not produced yourself.
○ All graphs which are included should be clear to read and accurately labelled.
○ All graphs which are included should be referred to in the text.
○ Labels and captions (eg, Fig. 1: School days lost in 10 countries) on the graphs are not included in the word count.
● Impact on productivity and inequality
○ This section should focus on how lost education due to Covid-19 could impact productivity and, in turn, how this could affect the labour market and inequality as a result.
○ This section should provide an intuitive narrative, suitable for the target audience and should not contain any graphs or diagrams. These should be included either in the description of data or the technical appendix.
○ The starting point for the analysis should be the labour market model (as discussed below in the guidance for technical appendix) but the technical details and diagrams should be left to the technical appendix. This section in the main report should express the findings of the technical analysis in a way which is accessible to the target audience.
○ Good answers will discuss this all within the context of the chosen country and the analysis may be supplemented by further research.
○ There are, of course, many ways that Covid-19 may affect inequality in a country and there might be other ideas on how the problems could be addressed. These can be good to include and may improve the argument, however, remember the limited word count and that the priority is to ensure the task is addressed.
Part B: Technical Appendix
Target Audience: You can assume this audience is familiar with economics and some technical terms (eg. ‘equilibrium’ and ‘real wage’) but you will still need to carefully introduce any model and model-specific terms you use.
Suggested word length: 600-750 words
● This section should use the labour market model (with wage-setting and price-setting curves) and a Lorenz curve to explain how lower productivity (𝜆) resulting from lost time in education can affect employment, price levels and income inequality.
● The model should be accompanied by a narrative which explains thoroughly how the model works and any key assumptions you are making so that the reader can follow your argument.
● As a minimum, a diagram of the labour market model (with wage-setting and price-setting curves) and a Lorenz curve diagram is expected. You may also need to include equations or other diagrams, linked to the labour market model depending on the argument you are trying to provide.
● Any diagrams you include should be clearly labelled and referred to in the text. Any notation used should be explained.
REFERENCES (not included in word count)
● You should end with a list of references in a recognised style (eg. Harvard).
● There is no specific / set amount of references that need to be included.