Course Syllabus

9 sessions


Matthias Rieger
Ph.D, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva


1A Hoang Dieu, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan, HCMC   View map


Analytical Tools , MAE

This course introduces students to the basics of research methodology for economists. The main aim is to facilitate participants’ work on their research thesis from start to completion. After the course, students will have gained knowledge of key methodological issues and choices in economics. They will be comfortable with formulating their research questions and know how to structure a thesis. They will learn how to collect and manage their research data effectively, and they will be in a position to choose the right methodology to answer their research questions. Students will also get practical tips on writing and the presentation of research findings.

Session 1: Economic Research Methodology: An Overview

Session 2 Learning to Frame and Structure a Research Thesis

Session 3: Basics of Data Collection and Management

Session 4: Basics of Data Collection and Management (Cont)

Session 5: Practical Tips on Applied Econometrics

Session 6: Miscellaneous Topics: Ethics, Replication and Pre-Analysis Plans

Session 7: Writing and Presentation Skills for Economists

Session 8: Student presentations

Session 9: Student presentations

Session 1

Blaug, M. 1997. Economic theory in retrospect. Cambridge, Cambridge University

Press. Chapter 17. Available at:

Dobusch, L. and Kapeller, J. 2012. Heterodox United vs. Mainstream City? Sketching a Framework for Interested Pluralism in Economics, Journal of Economic Issues, 46(4): 1035-1058. Available at:

Sen, A. 1991. Economic Methodology: Heterogeneity and Relevance. Social Research, 71(3): 583-614. Available at:

Stanford Encyclopaedia of Economics 2018. Philosophy of Economics. Chapters 1 and 2. Available at:

Rodrik, D. 2015. Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science, New York: Norton. Introduction and Chapter 1. Available here:

Session 2

Dudenhefer, P. 2014. A Guide to Writing in Economics. Parts 2,3 and 4.  Available at:

Sessions 3-4

United Nations. 2005. Household Surveys in Developing and Transition Countries:  Design, Implementation and Analysis. Chapters 2 and 3. Available at:

Session 5

Angrist, J.D. and Pischke, J.-S. 2009. Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion: Princeton University Press. Chapters 1 and 2. Available at:

Kennedy, P.E. 2002. Sinning in the Basement: What are the Rules? The Ten Commandments of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Economic Surveys 16: 569-589. Available at:

Session 6

European Economic Association 2017. Ethical Principles for the European Economist. Available at: 

Glennester, R. 2017. The Practicalities of Running Randomized Evaluations: Partnerships, Measurement, Ethics, and Transparency, in Handbook of Field Experiments, Vol.1, Duflo, E. and Banerjee, A. (eds). Available at:

Olken, B. A. 2015. Promises and Perils of Pre-analysis Plans. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29 (3): 61-80. Available at:

Session 7

Nikolov, P., 2013. Writing Tips For Economics Research Papers. mimeo. Available at:

Dudenhefer, P. 2014. A Guide to Writing in Economics. Part 1. mimeo.  Available at:

Piazzesi, Monika, Tips on how to avoid disaster in presentations. mimeo. Available at:

Sessions 8 and 9 Student presentations

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