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Economics 410W Topics in Macroeconomics (Spring 2022): Fiscal Policy

Research guide for Econ 410W, with a focus on macroeconomic theory, fiscal policy and the labor market. The guide serves to familiarize the student with both relevant bibliographic and data resources that are essential to the completion of their research

Exploring Secondary Resources

What is a literature review?

A literature review provides an overview of the scholarly literature (e.g. books, articles, dissertations, proceedings) relevant to an area of research or theory. The review typically will include a summary of the major questions in a area and critical evaluations of work that has already been done. Literature reviews are also helpful for their comprehensive bibliographies. This webpage by the UC Santa Cruz Library does a good job of explaining lit reviews.

Literature reviews typically include these components:

  • An overview of the subject
  • Organization of relevant publications into subtopics, theoretical areas, or key debates
  • An analysis and discussion of how various works relate to one another the the relevant questions
  • A discussion of unresolved questions or future directions
  • Some will also include discussions of key data collection and analysis methodologies

The following two resources are great places to start when compiling a comprehensive bibliography.

  • Oxford Research Encyclopedias and Oxford Handbooks
    • Browse by Economics or just run search. Note that you can limit by access that Emory has. Great bibliographies and overviews.
  • Routledge Handbooks (search portal for specific titles, or discoverE)
    • Great resource for building initial literature reviews, identifying important figures in the literature, and engaging with major theories. Emory has a subscription to all the Handbooks.
  • Handbooks of Economics
    • Series to which Emory subscribes, somewhat dated, but which include significant essays and studies across most areas of Economics, including monetary, financial, health, and educational economics.
  • Annual Reviews of Economics
    • Up to date reviews of the economics and reviews literature, published annually, with an emphasis on overviews and more recent approaches and theories.  Note that the HTML version is good for tracing citations.

Also consult reference works, encyclopedias, and handbooks to identify relevant terminology.

  • Did you find an article you really like? Then, pay close attention to the cited references (a.k.a. bibliography, end notes, footnotes) to find similar articles. This can bias your project by focusing on only one side of an issue so use caution with this method.
  • Ask for help. Ask a librarian for search tips. Also, use the help screens in the databases for instructions and tips.

Search Databases and Catalogs

The library catalog, and these databases are good places to start for most social science projects:

  • Scopus or Web of Science - Two interdisciplinary databases that cover science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
  • JSTOR - Access to a wide variety of journal articles in the humanities, social sciences, and area studies.
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Citation Preview

Follow the trail of footnotes and bibliographies in everything you read!

Old-fashioned footnote chasing is still one of the best research strategies, even in the digital age. Use library online tools to discover related resources, who's citing whom, and who's part of the academic story!