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ECON 1030 – BUSINESS STATISTICS 1
Assessment 2: Group Assignment
Instructions:
This is a group assignment with groups officially registered on Canvas - the maximum group size is three. All group members must be enrolled in the same tutorial class (i.e. day, time and tutor). There are two parts to this assignment:
Part A: Report to the Employment and Pay Equity Taskforce; Part B: a ministerial brief to the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.
This assignment is worth 40 marks. The allocation of marks is as follows:
Part A 32
Statistical Analysis (including Excel) 24
Professional Report 8
Part B 8
Total 40
The response to Part A must be provided in the form of a professional report with no more than 10 pages (excluding cover page). The structure of your professional report must include: 1] A Title, 2] An Executive Summary, 3] An Introduction, 4] Analysis and 5] Conclusions.
The response to Part B must be provided in the form of a ministerial brief with no more than 200 words and 3 graphs.
You must submit an electronic copy of your assignment on Canvas. See the attached Report Template for more details. Only one submission is required per group. Hard copies will not be accepted. It is very important that you submit an assignment cover sheet with all the group members’ signatures/names at the time of submission. If any dispute arises on your contribution to the group work, the cover sheet will be used as evidence of contribution. Each group is required to submit the following three documents: a) cover sheet; b) report and a ministerial brief; c) excel file.
This assignment requires the use of Microsoft Excel. If you have Windows, you will need to use the Data Analysis Tool Pack. If you have a Mac with Excel 2011, you may need to use StatPlus: MAC LE. The excel workbook you submit needs to be clear and carefully organised and must show all workings underlying the Professional report and associated statistical analysis. It will be treated as an appendix to your report, i.e. not included in the page count. Do not refer to the Excel workbook within the Professional report. You will need to take the relevant results from your Excel workbook and incorporate into your report. The Report needs to be standalone.
Presentation Instructions:
Your written professional report should comply with the following presentation standards:
1. Typed using a standard professional font type (e.g. Times Roman), 12-point font size.
2. 1.5-line spacing, numbered pages, and clear use of titles and section headings.
3. Delivered as a Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF (.pdf) file.
4. Checked for spelling, typographical and grammatical errors. Where relevant, round to 3 decimal places.
5. With all relevant tables and charts, the report should be no more than 10 pages long.
Problem Description:
Although countries have taken huge steps in improving women’s employment opportunities, gender pay inequity is still being experienced (EU, 2014; ABC, 2020). That is, women are paid less than men in the workplace. However, if individuals with identical labour market characteristics receive different wages, e.g. if women with the same level of education, get paid lower than their male counterparts for doing the same job, then discrimination arises (Blau and Kahn, 2003). The gender pay gap has important consequences. It can lead to reduced earning capacity for a woman over her lifetime. Women are also less likely to progress as far as men in their career and accumulate less money for retirement.
You have been appointed by the Employment and Pay Equity Taskforce to analyse the gender pay gap in Australia. The data are drawn from the 2019 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The sample used for analysis comprises of 1099 full-time Australian workers in the age group 20-74. The dataset contains the following information:
1. Worker’s earnings: weekly earnings in AU dollars of full-time workers.
2. Male: the dummy variable male = 1 if the individual is a male, and = 0 for females.
3. Educational attainment: the dummy variable degree = 1 if the individual has a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, and = 0 for lower than degree qualifications.
4. Skill-level: the dummy variable skill = 1 if the individual is highly skilled, and = 0 if not highly skilled.
5. Experience: number of years of work experience.
Using the tools you have learned in your current Business Statistics Course, provide the Taskforce with an analysis of the gender pay gap. You may assume the Taskforce members have a good understanding of basic statistics. In addition, the Taskforce would like you to prepare a ministerial brief to illustrate the key findings of your analysis to the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.
There are two parts to this assignment, each described in detail below:
Part A (1.5 + 1.5 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 3 = 24 marks; professional report = 8 marks)
Part A (24 marks): Locate the data file (AssignmentBusStats.xls) on CANVAS. Use the 5% significance level where relevant.
1. As shown in your lectures there are two distinct methods of calculating summary or descriptive statistics in Excel: 1) Data Analysis Tool Pack (the descriptive statistics option) and 2) functions in Excel. This question requires you to use both methods. Using method 1, calculate summary statistics for the weekly earnings of male workers in the dataset. Next, use method 2 to calculate summary statistics step by step on Excel which you need to submit as a separate document, as explained in the submission instructions above. With method 2, you would estimate a whole range of statistics to measure central tendency, variation and the shape of the data – based on what you learnt under Topic 1. [Note with the second method, you should NOT use any hard-wired Excel statistical functions such as Average, Median, Mode, STDEV, VAR, QUARTILE etc. Instead, you need to show step-by-step calculations of the statistics. You are allowed to use the Excel sort and sum commands, or any other non-statistical commands. The calculations should be carefully laid out in Excel.] (1.5 marks)
2. Repeat step 1 above for the weekly earnings of female workers in the dataset. (1.5 marks)
3. Using results from 1) and 2) above, tabulate and interpret relevant summary statistics in the report, comparing across male and female workers. (3 marks)
4. Using 14 class intervals, draw histograms of the earnings distributions for male and female workers respectively. Interpret the graphs. (2 marks)
5. What are the main differences in the labour market characteristics, that is 1) education, 2) work experience and 3) skill-level, between male and female workers in the given sample? Aid your answer with appropriate tables/graphs. (3 marks)
6. As noted above, discrimination in the labour market occurs when individuals with identical labour market characteristics receive different earnings. Can you find evidence of discrimination on the basis of education and skill-level? Aid your answer with appropriate tables/graphs. [hint: estimate appropriate summary statistics.] (2 marks)
7. Construct and interpret a 95% confidence interval around the mean earnings of male and female workers, respectively. Show the step-by-step workings in the report. Clearly indicate any assumptions made. (2 marks)
8. A 2007 Government report indicates that the gender pay gap in weekly earnings in Australia (difference between male and female weekly earnings) was AU$ 400 in 2007. Based on your findings in 7), can you conclude that the pay gap in Australia decreased in 2019? (2.5 marks)
9. A media report claims that the mean weekly earnings of female full-time workers in Australia was AU$ 1500 in 2019. Do you agree? Perform a hypothesis test at the 5% significance level. Show the step-by-step workings in the report. Clearly label your diagram and indicate any assumptions made. Explain carefully any potential error you could commit in your decision making. (3.5 marks)
10. The sample data seems to suggest that weekly earnings for males and female workers are different. In order to reassure yourself, use an appropriate statistical method to examine if the population mean earnings are different for male and female workers. Clearly indicate any assumptions made. (3 marks)
Part B (8 marks): Write a ministerial brief of no more than 200 words containing no more than 3 graphs on the gender pay gap in Australia and any other interesting findings that would be of policy relevance to the Minister. Draw on the relevant evidence you have gathered from Part A, as well as other information/evidence not covered here that you believe is useful. Your brief should summarize your results from part A in a non-technical way and provide relevant conclusions or policy recommendations.
References:
ABC (2020), “Gender pay gap narrowing but women still earning average of $25,000 less”, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-26/gender-pay-gap-narrowing-but-women-still-earning-less/12915414 , accessed on 13 August 2021.
Blau, D., and L. M. Kahn (2003). “Understanding international differences in the gender pay gap.” Journal of Labor Economics, 21(1): 106-144.
EU (2018). “Gender pay gap in EU countries based on SES (2014).” Publications Office of the European Union, 10: 978935.

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