This is an extra credit assignment. Extra credit will be applied after the final grades/curve have been determined, so will not negatively affect anyone’s grade either directly or indirectly. This assignment is worth a maximum of the equivalent of 8 points on a midterm (up to 2% of your final grade). You will write a short paper based off of one of the prompts below. The paper should be approximately 34 pages in length (1.5 spaced, size 11-12 font). You may additionally include graphs or figures (though not required) that are not included in the page count. You must cite at least 4 sources and include a works cited (also not included in the page count). At least two sources must be articles from an academic economics journal, and at least one source must be a policy document or report (e.g., report from a government organization, think tank, or private sector consulting company).
The prompts are intentionally vague and serve only as a starting point. I expect that you will go beyond answering what is explicitly included in the prompt. Because this assignment is extra credit, it is intended to be challenging and will be graded as such. Assignments that do not meet the requirements will not receive any credit. There are no right or wrong answers, but your discussion should be thorough and well-written. Your paper should be structured as a research paper, with an introduction and conclusion, and be free of typos. You must work independently on this assignment.
Choose one of the following prompts:
(1) Discuss the direct and indirect labor market consequences of President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexico-US border. What is your “optimal” immigration policy between the U.S. and Mexico? Explain why this is optimal, what objectives you are trying to achieve through this policy, and the potential barriers to achieving these goals.
(2) Design your optimal “revenue-neutral” tax plan for a small economy of 10 workers. (“Revenueneutral” means that the amount of money collected in taxes must equal the amount disbursed through negative tax rates or lump-sum transfers.) What objectives are you trying to achieve through the tax plan? What assumptions did you make? (You can assume that the wage rate of a particular worker is fixed and does not depend on aggregate labor supply in the economy.)
(3) Propose your own policy-relevant topic, in writing, no later than 5/31. I must approve your topic, and it must relate to a labor economics topic that we have covered in class this quarter.
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