Research Project

Econ 213 Economic Development

    Each student is required to write a 10 page research paper analyzing the development achievements and challenges in a particular developing country of her choice. The student should focus on three specific areas in her analysis::

    -  human well-being 

    - economic growth and structural change

    - the role of foreign capital 

    The student will develop the research paper over the course of the semester. The research component of the first exam concentrates on an analysis of human well-being in the country chosen. The research component of the second exam focuses on an analysis of economic growth and structural change. In the final paper the student adds the third component, the role of foreign capital, and provides a coherent analysis of the development problems of the country chosen incorporating all three areas highlighted above.

    Time-line and content of research process:

1) Student choice of country and instructor approval by September 28, 2001. You should choose a country for which there is ample information available (e.g North Korea would not be a good choice).

2) The research part of first take-home midterm is due at the beginning of the oral exam. Your oral exam will be on Oct 18th and 21st.

    The paper describes and analyzes the state of human development in the country chosen, with some historical perspective (i.e. where was the country at 10, 20, or 30 years ago; the appropriate past point of comparison will depend a bit on the country and data availability. The paper should include relevant data (including, but not limited to, GDP. p.c.; HDI components; poverty rates; Gini coefficient) presented in tables or graphs, a 2 page analysis and a bibliography.

3) The research part of the second take-home exam is due on November 25th by 3 pm in my office.

    The paper describes and analyzes economic growth and structural change in production and trade in the country chosen. Like the first paper, this paper needs to include data (including, but not limited to, GDP p.c. growth, investment and savings rates, indicators of technological capabilities and human capital, and the structure of output and exports and imports), a 3 page analysis and a bibliography.

4) The final paper is due on Dec 13, 2001 by 5 pm. It should provide a full-fledged analysis of the development challenges of the country chosen, incorporating human development, economic growth and structural change and the role of foreign capital. The student has to choose which part of foreign capital is the most relevant for the country she is investigating. 

    While the student has already done the research and analysis of the first two parts, she may well choose to rewrite parts of the first two papers (rather than including them as is). As her understanding of the subject matter develops over the course of the semester, the student may have changed aspects of her analysis; or some sentences have to be rewritten to make the paper cohere well.

    The final starts with a summary of the main arguments of the paper, includes the three focal areas, and ends with policy recommendations. It includes tables, charts, and a bibliography.


    In all cases, an 'A' paper has to link the arguments in the paper to the issues discussed in the readings for the class, with explicit reference to those readings. Arguments need to be supported empirically.

    The paper should be no more than 10 pages (with tables and bibliography extra). 

If you don't know how to use Excel, I recommend that you take one of the workshops offered by LITS.

Some resources for research in economics:

1) Helpful research hints put together by Kathleen Norton, Reference Librarian at MHC

2) World Wide Web Resources in Economics

3) Economics Departments, Institutes, and Research Centers in the World

4) Selected Sites and Resources in Economics

5) MHC Economics Department Resource Page

    A handy source of time series data on the country chosen is the World Bank World Development Indicators, 2000. It is a CD-ROM and can be checked out from the Reference Desk.

   The student needs to use a commonly accepted citation and bibliography style. Here is an example of a possible citation style. (from a website at Bucknell University).


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