Research Methods in Economics

ECON220
Kefasi Nyikahadzoi

Course description

Description

The research method course introduces economics students to the nature, scope and significance of research methodologies. It provides students with knowledge of both primary and secondary research methods and the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. It helps students to identify variables and phenomenon, and develop a research design and develop research protocols, collect and analyse data and come up with economic solutions and recommendations

Qualifications and Goals

AIM OF THE COURSE

To produce graduates with (a)  a solid grounding in applied research methods capable of  undertaking economic research necessary for transforming the nation and (b) a comprehension of research issues and process.

OBJECTIVES

The main objective of the Research Methods  is to equip students with skills to:

  • Identify the different methodological approaches that are suitable for investigating different types of research questions and hypothesis
  • Interpret the meaning of important statistical indicators featured in quantitative analysis such as regression, factors analysis and structural modelling
  • Describe the main features of different qualitative methods and data analysis
  • Be able to construct an effective questionnaire that employs several types of survey
  • Appreciate ethical dimension in research

Course content

 

1         RESEARCH METHODOLOGY CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATIONS

  • Introduction to research methodology and methods
  • Introduction to different types of research, philosophies/paradigms
  • Approaches to social inquiry and research strategies
  • Measurements, reliability and validity in research
  • Systems of human inquiry
    • Background to qualitative methods and the philosophy of thinking behind the methodology
    • Introduction to in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, participant observations
    • Qualitative data analysis techniques  using phenomenology approaches (focusing on hermeneutic, intepretive and transcendental), naratives and grounded theory
    • Methods of coding methods and coding tools, that is manual and software aided coding
    • Practical data analysis sessions using Nvivo

2        QUALITATIVE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

 

3        QUANTITATIVE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

  • When to use quantitative research methods, the key considerations when using quantitative data analysis to ensure credibility
  • How to develop data collection tools (questionnaires)
  • Determination of appropriate sample size and sample techniques to ensure credibility and validity
  • Principles of Data management;  Quality control issues, Consistency checks processes and development of data dictionary
    • Data collection processes, creating a template for data collection using open data kit, transporting data to statistical packages for analysis (SPSS and STATA)
    • Use of computer assisted data analysis  to doregression, factors analysis and structural modelling

 

4        MIXED RESEARCH METHODS

  • Evolution of mixed methods; philosophies in mixed research methods; when to use mixed methods
  • Crafting research research questions, mixed research design when using mixed methods
  • Different types of mixing and their relevance
  • Data analysis and presentation of research results in mixed methods.
  • Multivariate Data Classification, Binary data, Qualitative data, Quantitative data, Mixed data sets

 

5        LITERATURE REVIEW

  • How to do a literature review
  • How to develop a theoretical framework
  • Organising literature using computer software
  • Criteria for assessing the Structure
  • Creteria for a good literature review
  • Professional formatting (including reference list - APA) and layout and management of references (using software such as EndNote),

 

6        RESEARCH ETHICS

  • Defining Research Ethics
  • Typology of ethnical problems
  • Ethical Violations
  • Outcomes of Ethical Violations
  • Ethical considerations
  • as regression, factors analysis and structural modelling

 

7. THE RESEARCH PROCESS

  • The Research Problem
  • Operationalising Research Objectives and research questions
  • Hypothesis
  • Research processes and research designs
  • Designing data collection tools for collecting qualitative and quantitative data
  • Literature Review 

Teaching-training activities

Lectures

Lectures will normally take place on Thursdays between 08:00 and 10:00 hours and on ?? between ?? and ??. For the practical aspects of the course, the lecturer will introduce the concepts and students will then be asked to work in groups. Lectures are compulsory.

 

Tutorial

Tutorials are compulsory and these are normally conducted either on Thursday between ?? and ?? or during lecture time or between 0900 and 10:00. Students work in groups to research on given a topic/question.  Two students will act as discussants and these are also required to undertake a detailed research on the same research topic. Class presentations constitute 6% of the final examination mark. For the first hour of the lecture is devoted to introducing the statistical issues, methods and the last to tutorial. Students will work on given problems in pairs. A register will be taken during tutorial sessions, and if you miss three tutorials a chairman’s warning will be instituted and any further absenteeism will culminate in your failure to write the final examination at the end of the Semester.

Methods of evaluation

Course assessment weighting is based on course work which constitutes 25% based on

–Two tests ==>20 marks
–Group presentations  ===>5 marks
•The final examination which will be 2 hours long taking the remaining 75%.  

Manager(s) for ECON220 : Kefasi Nyikahadzoi
Administrator for TSIME Online : Administrator
Phone : 18008
Powered by Claroline © 2001 - 2013