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