Economics is a social science that involves the study of how individuals, businesses, and governments allocate resources to satisfy their wants and needs. Economic research involves both analytical and empirical methods to provide insight into economic phenomena. In this answer, we will discuss some examples of rigorous analytical and empirical methods used in economics dissertations.
Mathematical Modeling: Mathematical modeling is a common technique used by economists to study economic phenomena. It involves the use of mathematical equations to describe the behavior of economic agents, such as consumers, firms, and governments. Mathematical modeling is particularly useful in studying theoretical models of economic behavior. For instance, a dissertation may use mathematical modeling to study the behavior of firms in oligopoly markets.
Game Theory: Game theory is a branch of mathematics that studies strategic interactions between economic agents. It is particularly useful in studying situations where the decisions of one agent affect the decisions of another agent. Game theory can be used to study various economic phenomena, such as bargaining, competition, and cooperation. For instance, a dissertation may use game theory to study the behavior of firms in strategic alliances.
Econometrics: Econometrics is a branch of economics that involves the use of statistical techniques to test economic theories and analyze economic data. Econometric methods are used to estimate the parameters of economic models and test hypotheses about economic phenomena. For instance, a dissertation may use econometric methods to study the impact of monetary policy on inflation.
Experimental Methods: Experimental methods involve the manipulation of one or more variables in a controlled environment to test hypotheses about economic behavior. Experimental methods are particularly useful in studying the behavior of individuals and groups in situations where it is difficult to observe real-world behavior. For instance, a dissertation may use experimental methods to study the impact of incentives on charitable giving.
Survey Methods: Survey methods involve the collection of data from a sample of individuals or groups to study economic behavior. Surveys can be used to collect data on a wide range of economic phenomena, such as consumer behavior, labor market outcomes, and business practices. For instance, a dissertation may use survey methods to study the impact of trade on employment in a particular industry.
Natural Experiments: Natural experiments involve the observation of economic phenomena that occur naturally, without the intervention of researchers. Natural experiments are particularly useful in studying the impact of policy changes on economic behavior. For instance, a dissertation may use natural experiments to study the impact of changes in tax policy on consumer spending.
In conclusion, economics dissertations use a variety of rigorous analytical and empirical methods to study economic phenomena. Analytical methods such as mathematical modeling, game theory, and econometrics are used to develop theoretical models of economic behavior. Empirical methods such as experimental methods, survey methods, and natural experiments are used to test hypotheses about economic behavior using real-world data. By using a combination of these methods, economists can gain a better understanding of how economic agents behave and make informed policy recommendations.