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ECON 120B - Econometrics B (Dahl)

The first time I tutored for Econ 120B was for the Winter 2000 quarter with Prof Sorenson. I subsequently tutored for it three quarters a year and once or twice during the summer session. In 23 years, I have never taken a break! This is,approximately, the 80th quarter that I have tutored for this course!

Prof Dahl started teaching the course in Spring 2007. He usually teaches it once a year, but he not teach in 2014 and 2019, so I think this is his 15th time. I have tutored for all those courses.

Prof Dahl is one of the best instructors for Econ 120B. I know that students get upset because the material in his lectures can seem overwhelming but it is a difficult course to teach.

Take it from me, I have seen some awful Econ 120B instructors!

There was one instructor who could barely speak English. He would literally spend 90 minutes reading the textbook power point slides word for word and no one could understand him! He lasted three weeks until the Econ department replaced him with a graduate student.

Then there is Prof Berman who teaches his own version of Econometrics and after eight weeks everyone is so confused that they do not care anymore!

The main problem is the textbook. I understand why the Econ department selected it. If you already understand econometrics and you want to prepare students for graduate school, it looks like a great book. It is intellectually rigorous without being too mathematical. Plus one of the authors graduated from UCSD.

However if you do not understand econometrics and you are totally confused, it is an awful book! There is too much theory and it is presented way too soon.

You learn to drive a car by driving a car. You do not start with lectures on thermodynamics and the combustion engine. You get in the car, you turn on the ignition and you step on the accelerator. Likewise, you learn econometrics by running regressions. Lots of regressions! Then you talk about what you learned. If I was teaching the course, you would run regressions every day for three weeks and then I would talk about the theory and what can go wrong.

I think the theory is very important. But students have to have some experience before the theory makes any sense.

Anyway, that is my rant. You probably want to know more about the course and my review sessions!

Prof Dahl typically has seven problem sets, a midterm and a final. The course starts with an extensive review of Econ 120A and switches to regression analysis. The 120A material is not too bad. Students have trouble with the regression analysis and they often get frustrated.

The problem sets help you prepare for the exams, but the practice exam is much more important. Prof Dahl will give a review before the exam; this is very helpful as he often gives important hints about the exam.

I have reviews for all of the problem sets as well as the midterm and final. Each review comes with a study guide that is tailored to your course and your professor. I specialize in step-by-step instruction that makes difficult problems seem easy or at least manageable.

Writing the study guides and recording the podcast takes a lot of time, but your success is very important to me and I want to make sure that my reviews are of the highest quality.

You will need to use Stata. It is a statistical program. Sometimes students are intimidated by Stata but it is actually very easy. I will demonstrate how to use Stata during the problem set reviews.

The following schedule is somewhat tentative as I do not know when Prof Dahl will assign the problem sets and post his practice exams.

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