Econ 280 Assignment

Goal: to showcase knowledge and understanding of Econ 280 course content in a fun way.

Caution: do not hand this in early.  I am expecting you to incorporate knowledge from the entire semester’s worth of teaching.

  1. Read through all these instructions before choosing “your place”.
  2. Choose a country or world from a fictional book, movie, or game.  You can also create one from your imagination.  I will call this your “place”.  Do not choose a place that exists in real life or which used to exist in real life.  Your place should be inhabited by humans or human-like beings which can experience death/destruction and which are capable of making choices about reproduction, movement, and other aspects of their lives.
  3. In 500 words, describe your place and its human or human-like population.
  4. In 200 words, describe other countries/worlds which border on this place or which are otherwise important to this place.
  5. Choose a point in time for your place according to its own fictional timeline.  I will call this “year x”.
  6. Create a population pyramid for your place at year x using four age groupings that are most meaningful to your place.  Use population numbers in your population pyramid, rather than percentages.  Also create a table containing the data in your population pyramid.
  7. Create a Leslie matrix for your place in year x.  Insert the matrix into the document.  Explain the numbers in your Leslie matrix.  Project the population forward two years.
  8. Now imagine or recall that in year x there is a massive surge of immigration to or emigration from your place. Explain the economic causes.
  9. Explain if and how the following will change in the year immediately following the surge:
    1. Sex ratio
    1. TFR
    1. Life expectancy at birth
    1. Population momentum
    1. The stage of Demographic Transition the place is in.
    1. The capital:labour ratio
    1. Various kinds of wages
    1. The standard of living
  10. How could you use your Leslie matrix plus a census of the population at year x+2  to compute excess or prevented deaths because of the events in year x?
  11. Explain how, moving forward, the demographics of your country are likely to change because of what happened in year x.  Also explain how the economic development is likely to be different because of what happened in year x.   
  12. Relate your predictions to an iconic model such as that of  Boserup/Simon, Clark, Diamond, Ehrlich, Jacobs or Malthus.  You can add additional features to your model.  Draw a flowchart based on your predictions.



Please do not list the questions in your assignment.  Tell it like a story.  Don’t break it up with my questions and with headings. 

This document should be between 2000 and 3000 words in addition to the requested diagrams.

Line spacing between 1.15-1.5 please.

If you know that you have difficulty with writing or with English, get help editing your paper so that it is free from grammatical errors and typos.  Queens Student Academic Success Services may be able to help or advise you.

Decorations/extra illustrations are welcome but not graded.   

Unless you are using your imagination to create the place, reference the fictional work you are basing your story on, using any conventional format.

There is no need to do additional research.  The material learned in Econ 280 is all that I am expecting.  You do not need to cite the course textbook, but do not copy from it.  Of course, you must not copy from anything.  Observe the rules of Academic Integrity.


The grading will be based on

-Clarity:  Is the paper easy to read?  Are there grammatical errors and typos?  Is the paper well-organized?
-Completeness:  Have all the instructions been followed, and all the topics addressed?
-Comprehension:  Does the student understand the fundamentals of demography and economic analysis?
-Insight:  Is the student able to apply their understanding in creative ways, or are they sticking pretty close to examples in the textbook?

A level:  Insightful.  Student able to apply what they learned in new ways.

B level:  Solid.  No serious errors.

C level:  Some serious errors; overall pretty good comprehension.

D level:  Weak. Some very serious errors.

F(48) level:  Insuffficient knowledge demonstrated

F(24) level:  Not familiar with core of Econ 244

F(0) level:  Failure to launch.

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