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Economics Guide

This guide is meant to assist students in accessing and gathering bibliographic resources to support their Honors projects. For data resources, check out the Data Resources for Economists guide.

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 for a comprehensive bibliography on your topic for Economics honors:

  • Oxford Handbooks
    • Browse by Economics or just run a search. Note that you can limit by access that Emory has. In cases where we do not, check discoverE, and request needed chapters. Be sure to copy and paste articles into Google Scholar, Scopus or Web of Science to locate citations, full text, and related articles.
  • 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.
  • Annual Reviews of Economics AND Annual Reviews of Financial Economics
    • Covers significant developments in the field of economics, including macroeconomics and money; microeconomics, including economic psychology; international economics; public finance; health economics; education; economic growth and technological change; economic development; social economics, including culture, institutions, social interaction, and networks; game theory, political economy, and social choice; and more..  Note that the HTML versions is good for tracing and linking to citations, but does not have needed page numbers.

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, discoverE, 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. Keep in mind that this collection of journal articles is an archive. Use another database such as Econlit or Scopus to find more recent content.

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!

Journal of Economic Literature