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Start here for an overview of the Economics research process, with suggested resources.

Researching a topic in Economics

Research is hard! There are no clear rules for finding the perfect research topic.

A good topic is one that is interesting (both to you and the professor), original, and feasible. The more novel the research, often the harder it is to find good data.

So, how to find a topic?

  • Read but don’t read too much (look at abstracts of Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, American Economic Review, or NBER National Bureau of Economic Research working papers, etc.)
  • Read survey articles in your research field (Journal of Economic Literature, Handbooks of Economics, Annual Reviews database)
  • Read old journals
  • Read bad journals
  • Read journals in other social sciences
  • Read the newspaper
  • Talk to students and your professor
  • Talk to non-economists about issues that interest you as an economist
  • Read codebooks (data codebooks written for researching a dataset)
  • For empirical work: you come across a good instrument or Search Sage Research Methods Online

Top Resources For Getting Started

The Florida State University Libraries

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