I like to answer end-of-chapter exercises in various econometrics textbooks. Most of the time, there's no solution manual for me to check my answers. I wonder if it is appropriate for me to post such questions as well as my suggested answers or is this type of question not welcome on Cross Validated?

I note that the self-study tag says:

A routine question from a textbook, course, or test used for a class or self-study. This community's policy is to "provide helpful hints" for self-study questions.

The issue is that I'm really looking for corrections or improvements or confirmation that my suggested answer is correct rather than for helpful hints per se. Please note that this is done as a past-time as opposed to as part of formal study at a University.

Any help that could be provided would be much appreciated. I don't want to post questions that are against the rules.

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    $\begingroup$ I meant to include my suggested answer as part of the question. More or less to say, here's the problem and here's my work so far. $\endgroup$ Dec 30, 2014 at 16:46
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    $\begingroup$ I would strongly advise towards @gung proposal to be posting your answers as an answer proper and not as part of the body of the question. Otherwise, and if your answer is fine, then the thread will only receive comments like "It's ok" or similar, creating artificially "unanswered" questions. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2014 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


I think it's fine to ask these questions, just be clear about what you're doing. You should include the [self-study] tag, and show your work, state what you understand thus far, etc. Despite the fact that this isn't actually for a university course, people may choose to provide hints only.

Update: I had missed your comment. Just so you know, another option is to answer your own question with your answer. That is completely acceptable here. Whether it will better suit your purposes, I don't know, but you could try it if you like.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 One advantage of OP posting suggested answers as answers is they give scope for people to post "looks okay" as a comment without leaving the Q unanswered, or to post hints, or ultimately a better answer $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Dec 31, 2014 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b and gung. Thank you for the suggestions. The issue has been on my mind for some time, so much appreciated. I think that posting an answer proper is probably the best way to do it. Now, the next step is for me to learn how to ask (and answer!) "good" self-study questions! $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2014 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ @GraemeWalsh There's a constant tension between providing good answers to interesting questions (pretty much the purpose of the site) and avoiding doing people's homework for them (what a lot of students seem to want the site to be, and what many educators really wish it wasn't). $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Dec 31, 2014 at 5:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Glen_b Interesting comment bringing to light something I should consider. I suppose the aim would be to provide good answers to interesting graduate level econometrics questions and to encourage, perhaps, even better answers from the CV community. Hopefully I wouldn't be tipping the balance down the road of doing people's homework! With graduate level questions, maybe we'd be over that hump!? Following the outcome of this thread, I'll try one to see how it works and if it's useful for CV. If it's not, I'll happily bin the idea. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2014 at 5:32
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    $\begingroup$ My advice: start doing it the way you thought, and see how it goes. I don't think we're risking much of great consequence, but if there's a lot of objection, it's not going to be so hard to modify the approach. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Dec 31, 2014 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ This might be particularly valuable for those books that don't have the end-of-chapter exercises worked out even for instructors, and where self-study is likely because they are texts you might read later in your career for your own research. Gelman, et al.'s Bayesean Data Analysis comes to mind, with only some exercises having model answers. stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/book $\endgroup$
    – zbicyclist
    Jan 8, 2015 at 23:53

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