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"A literature review summarizes and synthesizes the arguments and ideas of the published information on a particular subject"
Here is a link to an excellent handout on literature reviews from the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina. The pdf is below.
Using EconLit Descriptors
EconLit is the primary resource for conducting research within the field of Economics. One means of finding additional materials within EconLit and many other journal databases is to use a descriptor.
Bibliographic Citation Analysis
Once you have located an article of interest, bibliographic citation analysis uses two methods to locate similar materials: (a) Analyze the bibliography of the article to identify cited materials; and (b) use a bibliographic citation database to identify materials that have cited that article. Bibliographic citation analysis assumes that the materials cited within the article and the materials that eventually cite that article share a common topical space.
JEL Classification Codes
American Economic Association's JEL Classification System provides a window into how economists conceptualize and categorize the phenomenon of interest to their discipline. The advantage of identifying your topic's JEL Classification Code is that it allows you to not only identify materials of direct relevance to your topic, but to also understand how your topic fits into broader topical area.