ECON5409 Statistics for Econometrics - 2018

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Semester 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​This course provides the foundations for modern econometric methods, including statistical distribution theory, asymptotic theory, mathematical methods and an introduction to statistical computing using bootstrap and simulation methods. Mastering this course will give students a deeper understanding of the statistical underpinnings of methods and knowledge acquired in other econometrics courses. Throughout the course, material will be presented in the context of simple models in order to concentrate on the concepts.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

Statistics for Econometrics aims to cover the parts of probability and statistical distribution theory and statistical inference essential for a deep understanding of econometrics and applied statistics. It develops the statistical foundations for econometric techniques relating to the analysis of economic and financial time series. Uncertainty governs both the data analysis undertaken by scientists and judgments made by all of us in our everyday lives. This course is a first look at the use of quantitative methods to handle decision making under uncertainty.

This course is designed to provide a foundation for the statistical theory covered in statistical inference and other econometrics courses. Ultimately this course aims to develop your ability to model quantitative relationships and deepen your understanding of how statistical concepts are used in econometrics, the science and art of determining what type of model to build, estimating the parameters of the model, and testing the model statistically.

The major topic will be probability theory and introductory inferential statistics. These two topics form the platform on which all statistical work is built. To understand these advanced methods, it is vital to have a background in these topics. Unfortunately, this means that we will read little applied research, and will devote most of our time to the abstract world of probability theory and the logic of statistical inference. Students who intend to take this course should keep in mind that the content is highly theoretical and analytical in nature.

In addition, the course is designed with the following aims in mind:

  • Deepen your mathematical and statistical skills;

  • Foster your analytical and critical thinking;

  • Develop your problem solving abilities;

  • Enhance learning by doing.

Familiarity with algebra, calculus and elementary linear algebra is assumed. The main vehicle for understanding the material is a solid understanding of calculus: differentiation, integration, infinite series, Taylor expansions, limits, etc. No previous experience with statistics or probability (or gambling) is necessary.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeProfAlan WoodlandRoom 4169385 9707Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:00noon

Communication with staff

Students are encouraged to ask questions related to this subject during lectures when time permits and especially during tutorials.

I am also available for further consultations. Consultations are an opportunity for you to ask questions. You may need to ask about the material introduced in lectures, the problems you have attempted or questions that were not fully answered in tutorials.

For consultations at the Consultation Times, dial extension 59707 on the intercom in the fourth floor West Lobby of the UNSW Business School Building (outside the Economics office). Other consultation hours may be arranged by appointment.

Emails should have a clear subject line and be sharply focused. I will usually answer your Email inquiries within 48 hours (does not include weekends). Discussion of course subject material will not be entered into via lengthy emails.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The philosophy underpinning this course and its Teaching and Learning Strategies are based on the “Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching at UNSW”. Specifically, the lectures, tutorials and assessment have been designed to appropriately challenge students and support the achievement of the desired learning outcomes. A climate of inquiry and dialogue is encouraged between students and teachers and among students (in and out of class). The lecturers and tutors aim to provide meaningful and timely feedback to students to improve learning outcome.

This is not a course where you can become proficient just by observing. You will need to get involved in class activities - evaluating information, asking and answering questions. You also must learn to organize your independent study and practice enough problems to gain a thorough understanding of concepts and how to apply them.

Students are expected to:

  • Put a consistent effort into learning activities throughout the session by preparing for the regular assessment tasks;
  • Take a responsible role in preparing for tutorials and participating in them;
  • Develop communication skills through engaging in classroom discussions and preparing assignments;
  • Concentrate more on understanding how and why to use formulae and less on memorizing them;
  • Make continuous improvements by using the feedback from tutorials and assessments.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​The examinable content of the course is defined by the references given in the Lecture Schedule, the content of Lectures, and the content of the Tutorial/Homework and Assignment programs. Out of Class study is an integral part of the learning process. This course requires a solid commitment and a continuing effort.


There will be a two-hour lecture per week. These lectures will provide a broad coverage of the main topics considered in the course. Lectures will introduce and emphasize the course content. They will include explanation of relevant topics and theory together with the use of worked examples to demonstrate the theory in practice. However, the student should not regard their content as exhaustive or full.

This is a lecture based course, which will proceed as quickly or slowly as is necessary. Class attendance is very important for understanding the lecture notes.

It is important for the student to devote a considerable amount of time to private study to achieve an appropriate level of understanding and to practice the different econometric tools introduced. Lectures provide one of the principal means of learning instruction, but it is essential that their contribution be bolstered and supported by other learning resources.

Students are expected to develop the skills and ability to derive the results on their own. Memorizing formulae and final results will not be of a great help in the exams; only a proper ability to develop these results will ensure success.

To get the most out of the lectures, students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the prescribed text readings as given in the course outline prior to attending each lecture, and to be prepared to take notes during the lecture itself.


The more you read the more you know, but the more you practice the more you learn and understand. Accordingly, the key to the understanding of this course is problem solving.

There will be a weekly one-hour tutorial (after the lecture). The purpose of tutorials is to enable you to raise questions about difficult topics or problems encountered in their studies, and to provide experience with problem solving. Students must not expect another lecture, but must come prepared with informed questions of their own.

Discussion will be normally based on a sequence of exercise (homework) sheets that will be distributed regularly during the course. You are expected to make a serious attempt at all questions on an exercise sheet before attending the tutorial at which it is discussed. It will not be possible to discuss all the problems set in the allotted time and you should not expect all questions to be solved in depth at the tutorials. Some tutorial exercises (and assignments) will require the use of statistical software (Stata) to undertake calculations concerning distributions and simulations of statistical models.

In tutorials, some students may be randomly chosen to discuss his/her attempt to answer the tutorial problems. The aim is to encourage discussion within the classroom and to solve the issues you and your classmates have encountered with the problems.

Out of Class Study

While you may have preferred individual learning strategies, it is important to note that most learning will be achieved outside class time. Lectures can only provide a structure to assist your study, and tutorial time is limited.

The required textbook for this course is by Miller & Miller (MM) (see the Course Resources section). There is also a highly recommended book by DeGroot & Schervish (DG). You only need to buy one. The course schedule and reading guide refers to both textbooks.

You are strongly encouraged to (heavily) use the reference textbooks. Both references contain exhaustive and detailed derivations of results and proofs of theorems introduced in the lectures. There are also many applications and case studies presented in the textbooks that will help you understand the possible applications for the various theoretical concepts covered in the classroom.

The reading load for this course is mild - perhaps ten to twenty pages a class. However, the work load will be high. It is important to carefully read and understand every result in the text. This requires full attention when reading the text. My advice to you is to make the book your friend and use the consultation time to come and ask for help in understanding what you read.

5. Course Resources

​The website for this course is on UNSW Moodle.

Lecture Notes: These will be available on the course website on a regular basis.

Required Textbook

The course will mostly follow Miller and Miller (MM) but will skip some topics and add some others from the additional readings. I will make copies of any extra material available to students as we progress. Note that there is a Student Solutions Manual available for the text by DeGroot and Schervish (DG).

  • Miller, I., & M. Miller (2014), John S. Freund’s Mathematical Statistics with Applications, 8th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.

Highly Recommended

  • DeGroot, M.H., & M.J. Schervish (2014), Probability and Statistics, 4th. Edition, Reading, Mass. Addison-Wesley.
  • Schervish, M.J. (2012), Student Solutions Manual (for Probability and Statistics, 4th. Edition), Boston, Mass. Addison-Wesley.

Additional Readings

  • Casella, G., & R.L. Berger (2002), Statistical Inference, Duxbury Press.
  • Hogg, R.V., & A.T. Craig (1978), Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 4th Edition, New York: Macmillan.
  • Bierens, H.J. (2004), Introduction to the Mathematical and Statistical Foundations of Econometrics, Cambridge University Press.

Copies of DeGroot and Miller have been put in reserve at the library.

Software: The Stata software package will be used. It is available on computers in the Quad Labs. You can also purchase your own copy from IT for use on your own computer.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

​Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. UNSW's myExperience Survey Tool is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. You are strongly encouraged to take part in the feedback process.

7. Course Schedule

Week 1: 26 Feb





MM: Chapters 1 & 2

DG: Chapters 1 & 2

Week 2: 05 Mar



Random Variables and Distributions


MM: Chapter 3

DG: Chapter 3

Week 3: 12 Mar



Mathematical Expectation


MM: Chapter 4

DG: Chapter 4

Week 4: 19 Mar



Special Distributions


MM: Chapters 5 & 6

DG: Chapter 5

Week 5: 26 Mar



Functions of Random Variables


MM: Chapter 7

DG: Chapter 3

Mid Semester Break: 02 Apr
Week 6: 09 Apr



Estimation Theory


MM: Chapter 10

DG: Chapter 7

Week 7: 16 Apr



Midterm Exam

Week 8: 23 Apr



No lecture - Anzac Day public holiday

Week 9: 30 Apr



Sampling Distributions of Estimators

  • Assignment 1 Due


MM: Chapters 8 & 10

DG: Chapters 6 & 8

Week 10: 07 May



Simulation Methods


DG: Chapter 12

Week 11: 14 May



Hypothesis Testing


MM: Chapters 12 & 13

DG: Chapter 9

Week 12: 21 May



Hypothesis Testing and Simulation

  • Assignment 2 Due

Week 13: 28 May



Statistical Models in Econometrics

8. Policies

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Business School Program Learning Goals reflect what we want all students to BE or HAVE by the time they successfully complete their degree, regardless of their individual majors or specialisations. For example, we want all our graduates to HAVE a high level of business knowledge and a sound awareness of ethical, social, cultural and environmental implications of business. As well, we want all our graduates to BE effective problem-solvers, communicators and team participants.

You can demonstrate your achievement of these goals by the specific outcomes you achieve by the end of your degree (i.e. Program Learning Outcomes—henceforth PLOs). These PLOs articulate what you need to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in learning. They embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as outlined in the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is therefore important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the course components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate Coursework
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in a local and global environment.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify and research issues in business situations, analyse the issues, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to prepare written documents that are clear, concise and coherent, using appropriate style and presentation for the intended audience, purpose and context.
Oral communication You should be able to prepare and deliver oral presentations that are clear, focussed, well-structured, and delivered in a professional manner.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Workplace skills (Co-op programs only) You should be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in the work environment, communicate effectively in diverse workplace situations and be able to apply discipline knowledge and understanding to real business problems with initiative and self-direction.
Related PLO Documents View the Undergraduate Honours PLOs (pdf)
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply current knowledge of disciplinary or interdisciplinary theory and professional practice to business in local and global environments.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify, research and analyse complex issues and problems in business and/or management, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to produce written documents that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Oral communication You should be able to produce oral presentations that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Related PLO Documents View the Master of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)
View the Doctor of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Research capability
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Professionals capable of ethical, self- directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Workplace skills
Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication

The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against these PLOs and graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You could use these records for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website


It is expected that you will spend at least nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period.

    Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.

    The date for all Business School supplementary exams for Summer Term 2017/2018 is Wednesday, 21 February, 2018. If a student lodges a special consideration for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418