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Core Stats & Econometrics

Two Sequences for Stats & Econometrics

We offer two sequences that cover Statistics & Econometrics:

ECON 3110 & ECON 3120

ECON 3130 & ECON 3140

The two sequences cover roughly the same set of topics, and they use the same statistical computing packages.  However, ECON 3110-3120 will provide a more applied treatment, while Econ 3130-3140 will provide a more advanced/theoretical treatment.  (Note that ECON 3130-3140 requires MATH 1120.)  Many students should choose the more applied treatment (ECON 3110-3120).  However, students with stronger mathematical backgrounds, and especially students who plan to pursue graduate study in economics, should take the more advanced/theoretical treatment (ECON 3130-3140).

In terms of advanced electives, either sequence can serve as a prerequisite—i.e., for any advanced elective that requires statistics, either ECON 3110 or ECON 3130 will suffice, and for any advanced elective that requires econometrics, either ECON 3120 or ECON 3140 will suffice.

Two other points to note:

First, ECON 3130-3140 is taught only as a Fall-Spring sequence—i.e., ECON 3130 is only taught in the Fall, and ECON 3140 is only taught in the Spring.  In contrast, ECON 3110-3120 can be taken Fall-Spring or Spring-Fall—i.e., ECON 3110 is taught in both the Fall and Spring, and ECON 3120 is also taught in both the Fall and Spring.  It is also fine to have a gap between these courses—e.g., you could take ECON 3110 in Fall 2016 and then ECON 3120 in Fall 2017.

Second, it can be ok to switch from one sequence to the other.  If you start with ECON 3130 for your statistics course, it is always ok to switch to ECON 3120 for your econometrics course.  However, if you start with ECON 3110 for you statistics course, you will not be permitted to switch to ECON 3140 for your econometrics course—because the material taught in ECON 3130 is more advanced than the material taught in ECON 3110, and ECON 3140 assumes knowledge of this more advanced material.  However, switches in this direction can be made for exceptional cases with permission from the instructor of ECON 3140.
 

Take Statistics & Econometrics Early

Ideally, you should take core statistics & econometrics as early as you reasonably can.  The basic structure of the Economics major is that you first learn core methodologies, and then you use these methodologies in your advanced economics electives.  Hence, the earlier you learn the methodologies, the more flexibility you’ll have in taking your advanced economics electives.  Moreover, while many advanced economics electives do not require econometrics, empirical research is discussed, and you’ll better understand that research if you have already taken econometrics.
 

Other Statistics Courses

There are many statistics courses taught at Cornell, and students sometimes ask whether those courses can be used in place of ECON 3110 or ECON 3130.  This section describes our current policies on alternative statistics courses.

We strongly encourage all Econ majors to take ECON 3110 or ECON 3130, and not one of the other statistics courses on campus.  ECON 3110 and ECON 3130 directly prepare you for our econometrics courses in a way that the other statistics courses do not, and they are also much more focused on economics examples.  We typically expect that students would take an alternative statistics course only if they inadvertently took that course before realizing that they wanted to major in economics.

In fact, there are two separate questions with regard to alternative statistics courses.  The first question is whether an alternative statistics course can serve as a prerequisite for one of our econometrics courses (ECON 3120 or ECON 3140).  The second question is, if an alternative statistics course can serve as a prerequisite for an econometrics course, can it also count toward the Economics major.

In general, the answer to the second question will be NO.  While the topics in other statistics courses may be similar to the topics in our courses, our courses use many more economics examples.  Hence, we do NOT permit those courses to count toward the Economics major.  The only exception is if a student takes both MATH 4710 and MATH 4720 (see below).

The answer to the first question varies depending on the level of mathematical rigor in the other statistics courses—in particular, based on our assessment of how well those courses prepare you for our econometrics courses.

With that background, here are our policies for specific courses:

MATH 4710 & MATH 4720: If a student takes both MATH 4710 and MATH 4720, this combination of courses can count fully in place of ECON 3130.  Hence, this combination can serve as a prerequisite for either ECON 3120 or ECON 3140, and this combination can be counted as one course toward the Economics major.

MATH 4710: If a student takes MATH 4710 (and not MATH 4720), this course can serve as a prerequisite for either ECON 3120 or ECON 3140, but it cannot be counted toward the Economics major.

STSCI 3080/BTRY 3080/ILRST 3080: This course can serve as a prerequisite for either ECON 3120 or ECON 3140, but it cannot be counted toward the Economics major.

ORIE 3500: This course can serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3120.  It might also serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3140, but only with excellent performance and with explicit special permission from the instructor of ECON 3140.  This course cannot be counted toward the Economics major.

PAM 2101: This course can serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3120 as long as you receive a grade of B or better.  This course cannot serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3140, and it cannot be counted toward the Economics major.

ENGRD 2700: This course can serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3120, but it cannot be counted toward the Economics major. In addition, it cannot serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3140.

BRTY 3010/NTRES 3130/STSCI 2200: This course can serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3120, but it cannot be counted toward the Economics major. In addition, it cannot serve as a prerequisite for ECON 3140.

Other courses: None of the courses in the group below can serve as a prerequisite for either ECON 3120 or ECON 3140, and thus none of these courses can be counted toward the Economics major.

PAM 2100, SOC 3010, AEM 2100, STSCI 2100/ILRST 2100

Related Links

Main Office
Department of Economics
404 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, N.Y. 14853
Phone: (607) 255-4254
Fax: (607) 255-2818