I’m trying to learn for my Economics class and I’m stuck. Can you help?
2-page (maximum, double-spaced) reaction papers
There will be 2 such assignments, the purpose of which is to get you to think clearly and concisely about
a particular subject. They will be due on this schedule:
1. Due September 20: a short paper offering your critical reactions to either the Rodrik paper or the
Noland paper (or both if you prefer to compare them) that we will discuss in class on September
2. Due November 8: a short paper offering your critical reactions to the paper by Autor, Dorn, and
Hanson (ADH) that we will discuss in class on October 28 or 30.
In preparing these papers you should read the article(s) carefully and with a critical eye. State clearly the
question or questions the author is addressing, review briefly how s/he performed the analysis (that is,
verbal argument, theory, empirical analysis), and the primary conclusion or conclusions reached. Then
offer your opinion (try to base it on economic reasoning or shortcomings in the analysis) of the article. If
you think it’s excellent or well done, say so. But see if you can spot holes in the argument or analysis,
find questions that are missing from it, or elements that you think could have been done better. Are the
conclusions really supported by the analysis?
I recognize that the authors are professional economists, and these are famous papers, so finding such
shortcomings may not be easy. But there are not necessarily right or wrong answers here. I really am just
asking you to read the article(s) and offer your own observations. You could think of these as practice
exercises in writing short memos explaining the work to colleagues in a government agency or
I prefer that you print your papers and give them to me in class instead of emailing them.