Questions Approfondies d'Economie

Séminaires BAC 3

Last updated: Friday, 30 March 2018, 20h00

If you have ANY questions, please just contact me via email.


Broadly speaking, this course covers: economic research design, how to handle economic data, research question formulation, types of literature, the structure of an academic article and the necessary content, how to read academic articles and working papers as well as how to critically analyse them, and finally, the basics of writing, debating/discussion, and presenting.

Overall, the aim of these sessions is to ultimately assist you in the following:

  • Understand the importance of positive economic research.
  • Appreciate the importance of understanding your data.
  • Be able to structure and critique an economic argument using empirical evidence.
  • Be able to search for and find relevant data and literature for your research question.
  • Be able to present your research and defend it cogently.

Most importantly, develop a deep learning strategy focused on critical thinking and argument instead of a surface learning strategy focused on regurgitating facts and procedures (Marton and Säljö, 1976).

Upcoming timetable

  • No more classes for the Spring 2018 session.


  • Conducting Economic Research -- February seminar sessions -- [LINK] -- Updated as of Wednesday, 21 February 2018.
  • Writing, Debating, and Presenting -- March seminar sessions -- [LINK] -- Updated as of Thursday, 29 March 2018

Other resources

  • A Brief Guide to Linear Regression. [LINK]
  • A Brief Guide to a Two-Stage Least Squares Research Design [LINK]

References -- Books

  • The Practice of Econometrics, by E. Berndt
  • Mostly Harmless Econometrics, by J. Angrist & J. Pischke [LINK to manuscript]
  • Mastering 'Metrics, by J. Angrist & J. Pischke
  • Doing Economics, by S Greenlaw [LINK to Ch. 1]
  • Using Econometrics: A Practical Guide, by Studenmund [LINK]
  • Analysis of Economic Data, by G Koop
  • Analysis of Financial Data, by G Koop
  • Graphs in Statistical Analysis, by F. Anscombe [LINK]
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information [LINK to Chapters 1 to 3]

Journal articles we analysed in class


Literature review

Theoretical paper - Model section

Results (Discussion, Graphs, and Tables)

  • A mixture of the aforementioned articles were used.

Empirical paper - Data section

Empirical paper - Model section


  • A mixture of the aforementioned articles were used.


  • A mixture of the aforementioned articles were used.

Sources for journal articles and working papers

Journal articles:

  • The online ULB library portal
  • RePEc
  • Google Scholar
  • EconLit
  • Also don't forget about Google. A carefully worded search can get a lot of useful hits. It can be helpful to add filetype:pdf to the search string.

Working papers:

  • NBER
  • CEPR
  • SSRN
  • IZA
  • IMF
  • Also those published by the various Federal Reserve Banks and the different European central banks (ie, national ones as well as ECB).

Data sources

This is a non-exhaustive list of places you may find data of use. A more extensive list HERE is kept up to date by the ULB/Solvay BibEco team. Also, do not forget about access to the dedicated data computers available for use in R42.

Referencing (Bibliography)

As discussed, you are expected to use the APA style for referencing. Good resources for this include:

Statistical software

  • gretl [LINK] -- A great open source software for quick analysis of time series data. It is a free equivalent to EViews.
  • R [LINK] and RStudio [LINK] -- A very good and thorough free statistical analysis software. Can do everything that Stata can.


  • The LaTeX WikiBook [LINK] -- An invaluable resource for starting out!
  • A short guide to key LaTeX symbols [LINK]
  • The comprehensive LaTeX symbol list [LINK]