University of California History of Economic Statistics in The United States Worksheet

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A client has asked you to prepare them a report on the history of economic statistics in the

United States. The client is an intelligent businessman, but only knows the basics of

economics. Your job is to develop a report that provides them an overview of the key trends

and patterns in US economic history in a well-organized, visually appealing report including

graphs of the most important economic variables.


1. Your report should start with a title page and a brief introduction giving a brief overview of

what the report is about and what it will include. It should end with a brief conclusion

summarizing the key points.

2. The body of the report should include graphs and descriptions that help the reader

understand how the US economy has developed over time. It is up to you how to exactly

organize the report. You may want to separate the data into different time periods to help

break it up or group sets of variables and describe them all together. Your report should

read as a cohesive story of the US economy.

3. I have provided a data set for you to use, but you should not use every variable. It is up to

you to decide which variables are important to include. You must discuss a minimum of 6

distinct variables in your report, but can include more as you feel necessary to tell your

story. Including more variables will not automatically earn you a higher grade. Only include

what is useful in understanding the history of the US economy.

4. You are not expected to understand or explain why the data moves, but rather just to

explain how it moves and changes over time. You do not need to do any research or use

any resource beyond the included dataset.

5. There is no formal requirement for the length of the report, but you will not get more credit

for simply writing more. A concise, insightful report is much preferred to a lengthy, bloated


6. Your report needs to look nice. Graphs should be easy to read, consistently themed, and

cleanly formatted. You should not use the default graph style of whatever program you

make them in. Text should be presented neatly and it should be clear to which graph the

text refers. It should be easy to figure out the main ideas the report is trying to convey.

Moderate use of color is a good idea. Have some fun with it! Creativity is encouraged!

7. You may use whatever program you want to put the report together. Excel, Google Sheets,

and Numbers will all work for graphs (you may also use a statistical program like R, Stata,

Python if you prefer). Word, Pages, Google Docs, Powerpoint, or Keynote will work to put

everything together into a nice report. If you have another program you want to use it’s

probably fine. In the end you should submit your report as a single PDF.


You will receive 75% of the grade (90 points) for completing the basic requirements as

described above. I will ask my grader to give you a score on the remaining 30 points based on

the following questions:

1. Is the report clean and professional looking?

2. Do the different parts of the report do a good job organizing the data into a coherent story

of the US economy? Does it appear that some thought went into which variables to


3. Are the graphs easy to read and is it clear what data they are trying to show? Do the graphs

always display the data in an appropriate form?

4. Does the text do a good job concisely pointing out interesting trends and/or explaining why

the variable was included in the report?

5. Most importantly – if you were the supervisor in charge of presenting the report to the client,

would you feel comfortable doing so

Data for Data Report 1 – Note: The dataset has data for many countries, you can delete everything other than the US data

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