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Econ 130: International Economics: Resources: Econ Literature Review

Resources covered in the Library session for Econ 130

Databases covered in Library session

How to do a Literature Review

"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.

How to Find Materials for Your Literature Review

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

  1. Find an article of interest
  2. The descriptor is a field in the journal article's record, which unsurprisingly describes the article.  
  3. The power of the descriptor is that it is a clickable link that returns all other materials with the same 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.

  1. The easiest bibliographic citation analysis database is Google Scholar.
  2. A more advanced method citation analysis is offered through Web of Science
    • Contact a librarian for help using Web of Science

 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.

  1. Go to EconLit and find an article on your topic
  2. Look at the descriptors in the article record
  3. The number in parenthesis after the descriptor term is the JEL Classification Number 
  4. Go to the American Economic Association JEL Classification Code Guide
  5. Identify other JEL Classification Numbers of interest
  6. Return to Econlit and search using that classification #
  7. Enter the classification code and select "CC Classification Code" from the drop down box