Economics Question

Econ 138 Writing Assignment 2: DUE October 30 by 6:30 PM PDT on Canvas.
Please read all instructions both before you begin the assignment and after you complete it.
In this writing assignment, you will read and critically analyze an article from the San Diego
Union Tribune. Please explain your answers thoroughly and make sure you are caught up on all
the lectures before writing your essay!
1. Read the article, “Accountant applied for 80 jobs, promotions and got zero. Was it
racism?.” Summarize the article. What are two pieces of evidence that Kennedy gives to
argue that there is racial discrimination within the City of San Diego?
2. Suppose that Kennedy is right, and there is employment discrimination against Black
employees for the City of San Diego. Given the evidence in the article, do you think this
is taste-based or statistical discrimination? Justify your answer, using facts from the
article. (Note, there is no correct answer! You can get full credit for arguing either tastebased or statistical discrimination, as long as you justify your choice.)
3. Propose an experiment to test whether there is employment discrimination against Black
employees for the City of San Diego. Describe the experiment in detail, so that a person
who hasn’t taken Econ 138 could understand how the experiment works. What type of
discrimination would your experiment be most likely to uncover (statistical or tastebased)? Justify your argument.
4. The article states that in the City of San Diego, “employees of color [make] 20.8 percent
less than Whites.” While some of this gap is explained by different career choices, 12
percent remains unexplained. However, the City of San Diego does not track employees’
education or performance review results. Suppose that the city of San Diego begins to
track performance reviews, and that performance reviews explain the remaining pay gap.
Suppose further that the City of San Diego says that this result shows there is no
employment discrimination. Why might you still think there could be employment
discrimination? Explain.
Format: You have 600 words. You need at least one short paragraph per step.
Write freely and then revise to express your ideas clearly and concisely. You do not need to write
an introduction or conclusion. You do not need to restate the questions I asked. Focus on the
economics; I am not going to judge the quality of your writing (so long as it is readable), but
rather the quality of the economic thought behind them.
You can write in the first person, using “I” statements.
To make it easier for graders to read, use Times New Roman 12 point font with double-spaced
lines. You must submit either a .doc or .pdf file.
Please follow APA style when discussing different racial/ethnic groups. Current APA style
recommends using “Black people”, “Black Americans”, etc. , rather than “Blacks”. Use
race/ethnicity in this way as a descriptor rather than as a noun for all groups. Additionally,
always capitalize Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, etc.
Grading: The graders will follow the below rubric. There is no partial credit within any of the
subsections unless otherwise stated. Late submissions will receive up to a 20 point (50%
Step 1 [8 points] 4 pts: summarizes article
4 pts: two pieces of evidence (2 points each)
Step 2 [8 points] 8 points: coherent and logical argument (4 points if no
Step 3 [12 points] 8 pts: detailed experiment (4 points if decent attempt made)1
4 pts: type of discrimination argument
Step 4 [8 points] 8 pts: coherent and logical argument (4 points if decent
attempt made)
Legibility [4 points] 2 pts: Stay within word count (500-700 words)
2 pts: Legibility points (double spaced, submitted as a .doc
or .pdf, etc.)
Academic Integrity: You are not permitted to discuss this writing assignment with anyone:
other students, private tutors, friends, family, etc. You are permitted to use other written sources,
but you need to cite them in the format of your choice (and you are discouraged against doing so;
these questions are not easily searched, and you will likely end up plagiarizing). Your writing
assignment will be automatically submitted to Turnitin when you submit it on Canvas. Anyone
whose essay is similar to any written source or the essay of another student will receive a zero
grade and be reported for an Academic Integrity violation.
Late Assignments: The assignment closes at 6:30pm on Canvas. An assignment submitted late,
even if it’s only one minute late, will receive a late penalty. Late penalties are up to the grader’s
discretion, and will be worth up to 20 points (50% of your grade).
Regrading Policy: The graders will leave comments on your essay explaining where and why
you lost points. If you believe you lost points in error, you can submit a regrade request to the
current instructor (for assignment 2, email Prof. Rittenhouse at until
November 12. In this request you need to state which step you think you deserve more points on
and why. By submitting a request, you agree to wager half of the lost points, such that if the
grader denies your request she will take those points off your essay. For example, if you lost 4
points on Step 3, and submit a regrade request that is rejected, you will lose an additional 2
points on your essay. Given this penalty, you should only submit requests for grades that you are
1 This is whether the grader thinks a decent attempt was made, not whether you think a decent attempt
was made. You will not receive partial credit for arguments that are unrelated to economics.
confident were made in error. We will not tell you via email whether you should submit a

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