Spring 2021 - ECON 233 D100

Introduction to Economics Data and Statistics (4)

Class Number: 4621

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

    Fr 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 28, 2021
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

  • Prerequisites:

    MATH 150, MATH 151, MATH 154, or MATH 157; 15 units. MATH 150, MATH 151, MATH 154, or MATH 157 may be taken concurrently with ECON 233.



Introduces statistical methods, concepts and their application to economic data using both spreadsheets (e.g., Excel) and a specialized statistical programming language such as R. Students who have taken ECON 333 first may not then take this course for further credit. STAT 270 or BUS 232 will be accepted in lieu of this course.


Please note: Students with credit for BUS 232 or BUEC 232 cannot take ECON 233 for further credit.

This course introduces the basics of probability and statistics for economics students. Like STAT 270 or BUS 232, it satisfies the lower-division statistics requirements for the economics major. It differs from these courses in two important ways: we will emphasize the use of economic data to answer economic questions, and we will learn to use both Excel (the standard tool in the business world) and R (a more powerful package for statistical analysis that is increasingly used in the business and academic world, and is the main tool used in ECON 333).

Lectures will be asynchronous. Class will also meet synchronously each week for quizzes and review. Tutorials will also be synchronous and will include computer work.


  1. Basic data cleaning
  2. Probability and random events
  3. Random variables
  4. Basic data analysis
  5. Univariate statistics
  6. Advanced data cleaning
  7. Statistical inference
  8. Multivariate statistics
  9. Advanced data analysis
  10. Data visualization with ggplot


  • Tutorial work 10%
  • Assignments 30%
  • Quizzes 30%
  • Final exam 30%
  • Students who cannot regularly attend tutorial due to time zone issues will have the option of an alternative assessment in place of the tutorial work. Students must be able to attend the main class on a regular basis in order to complete the quizzes.



Students must have a computer with internet access, microphone and webcam. Both Excel and R/RStudio will need to be installed on that computer. Excel and R/RStudio are available free of charge for SFU students, and instructions for obtaining them will be provided during the first week of classes.


Brian Krauth, Introductory Statistics for Economics. This textbook will be available online for free.  

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Please note that, as per Policy T20.01, the course requirements (and grading scheme) outlined here are subject to change up until the end of the first week of classes.

Final exam schedules will be released in February. This will allow students to avoid enrollment conflicts, and will significantly reduce instances of exam hardship. If your course has a final exam, please ensure that you are available during the final exam period of April 14 - 26 until you receive confirmation of your exam dates. 

Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) at 778-782-3112 or caladmin@sfu.ca.


Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).