Research Project Spatial Economics


Course Objective

The ultimate goal of this course is to strengthen essential practical
skills that characterize a good economist. One of the learning
objectives of the Research Project is to provide you with hands- on
experience on how to conduct a literature search and how to properly
report on it. These are skills for which there are no standard recipes
and can only be 'learned by doing'. At a lower, more pragmatic level,
another goal is to allow you to make a head start with your Master's

After following this course, you:

- are able to master a certain field of literature
- can identify the relative contributions of different articles to this
- can identify remaining blind spots in the field that provide fertile
soil for further research
- have the ability to present this knowledge in a structured way, both
as a written report and in the form of an oral presentation

Course Content

A critical attitude towards scientific papers is essential for a
professional economist. During this research project, you are asked to
identify a topic and review a coherent set of around 10 key scientific
papers (approximately 250 pages) around this topic. You formulate a
research question that allows you to reflect on the papers and put them
into perspective. You write a critical and coherent evaluation (of
around 10 pages in normal print) in which you present the essence of
the papers studied, discuss the relatively strong and weak aspects of
the different papers, where relevant compare and confront the different
insights from the different papers with respect to the research
question, and identify issues for possible further analysis. The
evaluation should be written in a paper format, viz. it should contain
an introduction with a clear problem statement, a proper structure, a
clear and well- founded conclusion, list of references, etc.

Teaching Methods

Group meetings with presentations. Students will be assigned the role
of discussant of one fellow student during the process of the research
project. These group meetings are complementary to the daily
supervision of each student.

Method of Assessment

The examination consists of a written report and an oral presentation of
your results. The report will be graded by your supervisor and a second
reader. The main criteria in the evaluation relate to the problem
statement, your review and analysis of the literature, your conclusion
and discussion, as well as the structure and design of your report, your
oral presentation and the degree of independence in working.


No required literature. Suggested literature:

- Hart, Chris, Doing a literature review: releasing the social science
research imagination. Sage: LA, London 2008, ISBN 978 0 7619 5975 5.
- Brett Davies, Martin: Doing a succesful research project: using
qualitative or quantitative methods. Palgrave MacMillan: New York,
2007, ISBN 1 4039 9379 3.
- Hall, G.M. (ed. )How to Write a Paper. BMJ Books, London, 2003, ISBN
0 7279 1728 5.

General Information

Course Code E_STR_RPSEC
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. M.G. Lijesen
Examiner dr. M.G. Lijesen
Teaching Staff prof. dr. H.L.F. de Groot

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group
Target audiences

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