Hansen Proficiencies

Initial Publication Date: November 13, 2009

The following proficiencies are described in terms of the outcomes that might be expected. They are meant to be illustrative and not exhaustive. (Replicated from Hansen, 2006.)

Accessing existing knowledge: Locate published research in economics and related fields; locate information on particular topics and issues in economics; search out economic data as well as information about the meaning of data and how they are derived.

Displaying command of existing knowledge: Write a précis of a published journal article; summarize in a two-minute monologue or a 300-word written statement what is known about the current condition of the economy; summarize the principal ideas of an eminent economist; summarize a current controversy in the economics literature; state succinctly the dimensions of a current economic policy issue; explain key economic concepts and describe how they can be used.

Interpreting existing knowledge: Explain what economic concepts and principles are used in economic analyses published in articles from daily newspapers and weekly news magazines; read and interpret a theoretical analysis, which includes simple mathematical derivations, reported in an economics journal article.

Interpreting and manipulating economic data: Construct tables from already available data; explain how to understand and interpret numerical data found in published tables such as those in The Economic Report of the President; be able to identify patterns and trends in published data such as those contained in the Digest of Educational Statistics; read and interpret a quantitative analysis, including regression results, reported in an economics journal article.

Applying existing knowledge: Prepare a five-page written analysis of a current economic problem; prepare a two-page decision memorandum for a superior that recommends some action on an economic decision faced by the organization; write an op-ed essay on some local economic issue.

Asking pertinent and penetrating questions. Demonstrate an understanding of questions that stimulate productive discussion (factual, interpretative, and evaluative) and that reflect particular concerns when engaged in discussing economic issues and policies.

Creating new knowledge: Identify and formulate a question or series of questions about some economic issue that will facilitate its investigation; prepare a five-page proposal for a research project; complete a research study with its results contained in a carefully edited twenty-page paper.