Course code ECN305

ECN305 Research Methods in Economics

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Anders Dugstad
Teachers: Julia del Carmen Naime Sanchez Henkel
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
In 2022, the course will have teaching and mandatory activities in Autumn parallel. In 2023, the course might be held over two semesters. In this case, it will start in the Spring parallel and end in the Fall parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2013-2014
Course contents:
The course will cover the following topics: How to find good research questions; How to write a literature review; How to write a thesis and research proposal; General writing rules; Field research methods; Social science surveys, including sampling, questionnaire design and analysis; Secondary data; Experimental methods; Impact studies; and an Introduction to Stata.
Learning outcome:

In this course, students should be able to find and present a researchable topic within economics and to write a research proposal for their thesis. They need to be able to:

  • Demonstrate command of existing knowledge within their research topic and write an integrated literature review of this;
  • Use existing knowledge to explore the issue of interest, formulate researchable research questions and construct hypotheses;
  • Identify relevant data sources, either accessing existing data sources or through a plan to collect their own data and understand the methods used to compile and analyse the data; and
  • Identify appropriate methods to analyse the data to answer the research questions and/or test their hypotheses.
Learning activities:
Lectures, and short videos for students must watch beforehand to then solve group tasks. Presentations with discussion, and responding to comments provided by peers. Individual supervision while writing the research proposal for the master thesis.
Teaching support:
Students will be allocated a supervisor for their MSc thesis in the beginning of this course. The supervisors will discuss research topics and give close supervision during the writing of the research proposals. Please note that the project proposal the students conduct in this course might not end up as the problem statement for their master thesis. Hence, the supervisor might be changed in accordance with the changed problem statement. 
Selected journal articles and book chapters.

Basic knowledge of economic theory and method, e.g. ECN211 Intermediate Microeconomics - Institutions, Games and Market Failures or ECN210 Intermediate Microeconomics- Consumers, Producers, Market and Welfare and ECN222 Macroeconomics II - Models and Policy, ECN201 Econometrics.

Only for master students in economics

Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
There will be mandatory group assignments throughout the course. In addition, there will be two individual mandatory activities: (1) a preliminary research proposal; and (2) a Stata exercise. Mandatory activities are valid until the next time the course is offered. All mandatory activities must be approved to pass the final examination. 
A semester assignment (research proposal) is given before the end of the semester and makes up 100% of the final grade (pass/fail). No re-examination.
Nominal workload:
125 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).
Type of course:
Classes during the first 6 weeks of the term (2x2 hours per week).

The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course. 

The course gives an introduction to research methods that are relevant for the Master thesis. It is particularly useful for students planning to collect own data, but it also covers research methods more generally. The project description is the first step in the work on the Master thesis.

Internal examiners will be used to assess the semester assignment.
Examination details: Term paper: Passed / Not Passed