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Research Paper Instructions
This capstone course in economics requires that you write a research paper. This
research must be original and must reflect the student’s mastery of economic theory and
policy and demonstrate an understanding of the institutions involved in policy making.
1. Paper Requirements:
The paper should be no longer than 15 pages in length, and must contain an
introduction, review of the literature, economic analysis, and conclusion all using
appropriate grammar, citations and references.
The score for your research paper will consist of the following: 20 points for a
two page introduction, 30 points for a 4-page review of the literature, and 30 points for
the economic analysis provided in the paper. The remaining 20 points will be for
appropriate citations, grammar, spelling, and an appropriate conclusion. The 2-page
introduction should explain the focus of your paper and how you will go about analyzing
the topic. The 4-page review should survey at least 5 scholarly sources (scholarly articles
and/or books) setting the state for the analysis. Each of these sections will be graded
separately and due throughout the semester. You should make any suggested changes to
the final draft prior to submission. (Due dates are provided below.) The research paper
will be worth a total of 100 points toward your total score. The final draft of your paper
will be due no later than Wednesday, April 18.
In the paper you are asked to examine the political business cycle theory, evaluate
economic conditions and policy as well as the historical record surrounding the
presidential election to determine the degree to which economic policy was consistent
with the political business cycle hypothesis. You are expected to prepare your paper on
economic policy surrounding one of the following presidential election cycles in the postwar
era: 1960, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, or 2004.
Once you have chosen an election from the above list, you are asked to turn in a
one-paragraph summary of the election, its participants, and a brief description of how
you will approach the topic. You must have your election approved by Professor May
before beginning the project.
I strongly urge you to take advantage of the resources available to you in writing
your paper. Please visit the College of Business Teaching and Learning Center located in
014 COB for help with writing. http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/topthings/6994/39267
You may also seek assistance from the UNL Writing Center located in 102 Andrews
Hall. https://www.unl.edu/writing/home. While all students will benefit from getting help
from these two sources, if you are a non-native English speaker, I strongly urge you to
take advantage of these resources prior to submission of your paper.
Plagiarism in any form is a violation of the UNL Student Code of Conduct. It is important
that you understand what constitutes plagiarism and that you provide appropriate
citations and give credit every time you use or refer to another person’s idea or state any
facts or statistics that are not common knowledge. Turing in a paper (or parts of a paper)
prepared by someone else is considered plagiarism.
Please read the information on the following links to familiarize yourself with important
aspects of plagiarism.
3. Due Dates:
Summary of paper topic for approval: Wednesday, February 7
Introduction (2 pages / 20 points): Wednesday, March 14
Review of the Literature (4 pages / 30 points): Wednesday, March 28
Economic Analysis (30 points): Wednesday, April 4
Final Draft of Paper including a Conclusion: Wednesday, April 18
4. References and Citations:
Please be careful to use the following format in your references:
May, Ann Mari and Robert W. Dimand. 2009. “ Trouble in the Inaugural Issue of the
American Economic Review: The Cross/Eaves Controversy.” Journal of Economic
Perspectives, 23(3): 189-205.
Mazon, Patricia M. 2003. Gender and the Modern Research University: The Admission
of Women to German Higher Education, 1865-1914. Stanford, California: Stanford
May, Ann Mari, ed. 2008. The ‘Woman Question’ and Higher Education: Perspectives
on Gender and Knowledge Production in America. Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton,
MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
An Article in an Edited Volume:
Jacobs, Jerry A. 2008. “The Faculty Time Divide.” In Ann Mari May, ed. The ‘Woman
Question’ and Higher Education: Perspectives on Gender and Knowledge Production in
America. Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.
A Report: (where not otherwise specified in the report itself)
The Economic Report of the President, 1972. (Washington DC: United States Printing
In the text of the paper, you should only use a footnote when there is a need to explain
something further. When you cite a source in the paper, please use scientific citation.
That is, please simply provide the last name author, year and page number. If you are
citing Mason above it would appear as (Mason 2003, 24). If there are two authors,
provide both last names. For example, (May and Dimand 2009, 199). If there are three or
more names, use the following format: (Jones et al. 2017, 17).
Please remember that a citation is provided to make it easy for the reader to find
information on the topic discussed. Please minimize the use of online citations.
5. Final Thoughts:
1. Plan your schedule. Create a timeline and give yourself time to write the paper.
2. Prepare a thesis statement. The thesis statement should succinctly sum up the
main point of the paper.
3. Use only reputable sources. Trustworthy resources are the foundation of a good
research paper. Use governmental sources for all economic statistics. Your
primary resource should be the various issues of The Economic Report of the
4. Organize your notes.
5. Create an outline. Your research finding must be clearly and rationally laid out.
You must provide data to support your assertions. Do not simply cut and paste a
graph or table for another source.
6. Write and edit and then do it again. Expect to write at least three drafts of each
section of your paper. Pay attention to the word document codes (green lines) that
highlight possible problems.
7. Do not confuse the following:
there, their and they’re
led versus lead
your versus you’re
affect versus effect
to versus too
then versus than
… you get the picture!
8. Be sure to use the reference guide above for all references.
Student Name: Yifan Zhou
Tax Cut Policy in the Presidential Election of 2004
There are two candidates who ran the presidential election in 2004. One is President George Bush, the other one is Democratic Senator, who names John Kerry. In 2004 campaign, two candidates debated economic issues in the United States, economic issues include competing policies on taxes, healthcare and a series of government programs.
Back to early in the 2000s, the United States had low inflation and high growth expansion. Most of tax revenue came from capital gain, most of organization and individual kept complain high tax payments. Therefore, President Bush provides a brave assumption on tax cut. “Bush’s first term domestic economic policy has been to reinvigorate the economy through four successive tax cuts. Bush argues that these tax reductions, by leaving more money with individuals and business” (Election Focus) His thought is brave and innovate. If the national tax drop down, corporation or organization may have more money reinvest business, it may stimulate job position and also reduce the unemployment rate. Since first four years, Bush Administration had cut more than $600 billion dollars. Some economic experts represented that the impact of tax cut is barely assessed accurately. It caused federal spending went up and Federal Reserve’s interest rate cut.
The economic situation was not good in 2000, slow job creation and slight increases in employee compensation, more and more people lost their jobs. The government was struggling with the high unemployment rate and the deficit growing in past couple years. The President Candidate-Democratic Senator John Kerry strongly oppose tax cut. President Bush had confidence on his tax cut policy, it is the best way to boost up US economy. Even though the government has less spending from taxpayers, taxpayers have more money and use in other places. The government had ever higher deficit, US economy became better after-tax policy.
Tax cut policy brought huge benefit to the United States, unemployment rate drops down year by year. Tax plays an essential role in this country. The government highly depends on tax from our taxpayers. If the taxpayer pays less, the government faces financial issues immediately. Clearly, the government employees don’t support tax cut. They didn’t consider the positive impact of tax cut policy. Therefore, we can make a brave assumption, assume the government or president candidates no words about tax cut, what economic policy they may provide during the presidential election?
In this paper, I will discuss the benefit of tax cut policy. I will explain the political business cycle hypothesis. President Reagan made similar tax cut in the 1980s; I will compare the difference between two tax cut. People get benefit through tax cut, tax cut also involves fiscal monetary policy and expansion contraction. Therefore, I will deeply analyze the impact of tax cut.
Bush, Kerry Gear Up for Final Days of Campaign. U.S. Department of State, 19 Oct. 2004, usa.usembassy.de/elections04/elections10_19_04.pdf.