Course code ECN305

ECN305 Research Methods in Economics

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Arild Einar Bjørn Angelsen
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn 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 thesis and research proposal. - General writing rules. - Field research methods. - Social surveys, including sampling, questionnaire design and analysis. - Secondary data. Experimental methods. - Impact studies. - Introduction to the STATA statistical package. - Introduction to literature search.
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. In order to do so they need to be able to:

  • Demonstrate command of existing knowledge within their research topic.
  • Use existing knowledge to explore the issue of interest, formulate researchable research questions and construct hypotheses.
  • Identify relevant data sources, either existing data sources or through a plan to collect their own data and understand the methods used to compile and analyse the data.
  • Identify appropriate methods to analyse the data to answer the research questions and/or test their hypotheses.
Learning activities:
Lectures. 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.
Selected journal articles and book chapters.
Basic knowledge of economic theory and method, e.g. ECN212 Microeconomics or ECN210 Intermediate Microeconomics- Consumers, Producers, Market and Welfare/211 Intermediate Microeconomics - Institutions, Games and Market Failures and ECN222 Intermediate Macroeconomics, ECN201 Econometrics.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Two mandatory activities: (1) Preliminary research proposal. (2) One Stata exercise. Mandatory activities are valid until the next time the course is offered. 
A semester assignment (research proposal) given before the end of the lecture period 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.

External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers. Internal examiners will be used to assess the semester assignment.
Examination details: Term paper: Passed / Not Passed