Research Methods in Economics

A broad view is presented, dealing with issues pertinent to all research in economics.  The course includes a discussion of: literature reviews and data sources; the status and growth of economic knowledge; the ethics of economic research; and the overall design of a research project – aims, philosophy and methods, evaluating existing research, and writing up and disseminating findings.

There are two overlapping parts.  One explores what it means to explain economic phenomena and other issues in the philosophy of economics, making specific reference to the use of econometric methods, experiments and game theory.  The other examines how economists develop their thinking, covering both applied and theoretical economics and based on a set of articles on questions such as purchasing power parity, corruption and intellectual property rights.  Specific research questions are identified in order to explain how these are addressed. In both parts, lectures on the main issues are combined with student presentations on assigned reading.  The economic topics discussed may vary from year to year, reflecting new research, the expertise of the lecturers concerned and the interests of the students.

Method of assessment:

A 3500-word research proposal