# Help with undergrad thesis: Land valuation

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Hello all,

I've come looking for help with an undergrad thesis I'm putting together. It is based on the theory of Henry George, that the taxation of rent can support the functions of government. I'm limiting this to the local level, and I plan to estimate the value of all land in my city. This has been done by multiple economists in the past in other cities, so I won't be inventing methods, simply using others'.

The method is this: First I must gather all observed sales of vacant lots in the city in the past 2 years, only using those that are qualified. I will reduce these sale prices to a price per square foot. I will then use multivariate regression to determine the influence of several variables on the price per square foot of bare land. These variable will include distance from the central business district, distance from grocery stores, neighborhood quality (physical and social), etc.

Here is the problem: I haven't taken econometrics or much statistics, I am very inexperienced when it comes to regression analysis. I have Stata, I know how to run regressions, but I'm not sure how to analyze the output. Further, once I determine how much and with what statistical significance each variable influences the selling price of a square foot of land, I'm not sure how to apply that to every square foot in the city to give me a concrete estimate of total land value.

I know this can be done, because it has been done. The problem is that the papers where these orginal methods are described were written by and for professional economists, and not necessarily for novices like me who are not familiar with regression analysis.

So if anyone catches the drift of what I'm trying to do, has experience in real estate valuation or regression analysis, I would be very interested in their insight.

Thanks,

T

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Maybe heres a better question: Would it be wiser to abandon the undergrad thesis idea and focus instead on nailing down some more math and stats classes during my senior year? Would grad schools even care about an undergrad thesis?

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I think an undergrad thesis is the most useful thing you can do to prepare for grad school and grad school applications (especially if you have no other research experience). But don't you have a supervisor for your thesis? Generally, methods in papers, like you said, are written for experts and it can be very hard to know what they mean and to read between the lines. But that is why undergrads don't do theses on their own -- you'd work with a faculty member, a grad student, or maybe a post-doc? I'm writing this from the point of view of physical sciences but I think similar ideas apply.

Usually a thesis is done with classes and maybe you should choose whatever electives you have left to be math/stats course. That said, I believe that DOING stats (e.g. on a research project) will teach you more (and be more useful) than just learning it in a course. You can always take the course in grad school if necessary (and it should be easier to learn the theory too if you already know a bit from applying it).

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LOL... your core values are Integrity ?! You are promoting thesis writing on a graduate student forum?

You are both nuts.

First - this isn't really a site for help with your homework. Trying Chegg, Google, the library, or a tutor might be more productive.

But second and more egregious - Essaywriter - you ought to be ashamed - not so much for shameless business promotion but for peddling what appears to be unethical services. I know, you are just offering "tips" and "assistance"... but it sounds as if you are in fact as your name says, the "essaywriter".

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