Course code EkonD115

Credit points 10

Course of Research Directions

Total Hours in Course400

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes40

Independent study hours336

Date of course confirmation26.02.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Economics and Regional Development

Course developers

author prof.

Modrīte Pelše

Dr. oec.

author Ekonomikas un reģionālās attīstības institūts

Kaspars Naglis-Liepa

Dr. oec.

author prof.

Irina Pilvere

Dr. oec.

Prior knowledge

EkonD111, Agrarian and Regional Economics

EkonD123, Research Methodology in Economics I

EkonD124, Research Methodology in Economics II

Course abstract

The course is designed to build up an advanced-level theoretical and practical knowledge of how to design a theoretical framework for the doctoral student’s research. In the course, doctoral students do analytical and critical literature reviews on their research topics, get an understanding of the structure and key elements of the institutional system as well as the relevant legal framework, build up a critical and in-depth understanding of the latest theories and conceptions in agricultural and regional economics and integrate them into their research. Upon completing the course, doctoral students develop theoretical frameworks for their research and make descriptions of their research methodologies.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge – demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the latest findings pertaining to the doctoral student’s dissertation’s topic; demonstrate an advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of the research methodology applied in the doctoral student’s dissertation; demonstrate an in-depth and specific knowledge of the latest theories in agricultural and regional economics; demonstrate an advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of the institutional system and the legal framework pertaining to the doctoral student’s dissertation’s topic.
Knowledge is assessed by the following methods: independent work, problem analysis, discussions, an examination.
Skills – skilfully acquire, aggregate and analyse information from scientific databases; critically justify and apply the latest theories in agricultural and regional economics to discuss the matters in the dissertation; aggregate and systemise information on the relevant institutional system and the relevant legal framework.
Skills are assessed using the following method: independent work, discussion, an examination.
Competences – high-level of scientific and professional independence to examine the theoretical aspects of their research and create a theoretical framework for the research; apply an original and innovative approach to designing the research methodology and demonstrate a convincing understanding of how to practically apply the methods selected; demonstrate an independent devotion to developing new processes aimed at enhancing the institutional system and the legal framework in the context of their research. Competences are assessed by the following methods: an examination.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Creation of analytical critical literature review
In the framework of Part 1, the PhD student independently acquaints him/herself with the latest research results in the subject matter; it is mainly done by searching information in the databases. Pre-tasks are to study the most established researchers of the particular theme and periodicals to be followed regularly. As a result, the student has to find out those issues which are researched to a greater extent and those, which have not been studied yet.
The content of classes within the part ”Development of analytically critical literature review” (on the theme of the PhD thesis):
1. Studying of the latest research results in the PhD thesis thematic.
2. Identification of the most established researchers and periodicals.
3. Identification of researched and less researched or non-researched issues.
4. Identification of the applied methods through the analysis of issues related to the PhD thesis.
5. Scientific discussion in the theoretical part of the PhD thesis.
6. Development of theoretical framework of PhD thesis.
2. Recent theories in agrarian and regional economics
In the framework of Part 2, the PhD student though the study of publications will identify the methods applied in the studies related with the theme of the PhD thesis.
The content of classes within the part “Recent theories in economics”.
1. Winners of the Nobel prize in economics in the 21st century.
2. Behavioral theory in the context of agrarian and regional economics.
3. Integrated impact assessment for sustainable development.
3. Description of research methodology in the PhD thesis
In the framework of Part 3, the PhD student has to choose the methodology appropriate for the development of the PhD thesis. In case of non-existence of such methodology, the student has to develop a new methodology or to adapt any of the methods used by other authors.
The content of the part “Description of research methods in doctoral thesis”.
1. Describe the methodology that will be used to solve each dissertation task.
2. Identification of the applied methods by analyzing researches related to the promotion work.
3. Possibilities of using the methods used by other authors.
4. Organization of primary information collection and processing.
4. Description of the institutional system and laws and regulations
PhD students' work will be organized in 2 groups - related to the theme of the doctoral thesis. The content of Part 4 includes:
1. regarding the PhD theses to be developed in the sub-sector of regional economics:
At present, a multi-level operating institutional mechanism has been established for the implementation of the regional development policy in Latvia. It operates in the sphere of legislation and administration. During the study course, the students will master the institutional system of the EU and Latvia in the sphere of regional economics and the knowledge will be imparted on the most important legal and regulatory enactments and their hierarchy in the legislation of Latvia and Europe. Spatial planning and sustainable spatial development is a significant component of regional development, so an essential part of this study course will be devoted to the study of planning documents of various levels. Fund raising for the territorial development is of equal importance for solving of the regional economic matters, thus, it is important to explore both the regulations and the institutional framework of the European Community. As practically regional development includes all the components necessary for the society, then it is essential to acquire knowledge in the field of social development and to explore the opportunities for participation in the spatial growth areas. The content of classes within the part “Description of the institutional system and regulatory enactments; the legislation of regional economics”.
1. The institutional system of the regional development policy.
2. The system of legal and regulatory enactments in the Republic of Latvia and its hierarchy.
3. Spatial planning and sustainable spatial development.
4. Possibilities for attracting the EU Structural Funds for the regional development: regulatory enactments and institutions.

2. regarding the PhD theses to be developed in the sub-sector of agrarian economics:
Since joining the European Union (EU), farmers have access to the single market and benefits created by its relatively stable prices and direct payments, which are regulated in order to gradually reach the EU level as well as rural development programmes. The EU provides options for each EU Member State for sustainable development of agricultural and rural policy. This has been achieved through the introduction of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is one of the most regulated spheres in the EU. Therefore, during this study course, the PhD students will be introduced to the EU legislation hierarchy in the agrarian area and its system. Explanation of notions - regulations, directives, recommendations, guidelines etc. The system of legal and regulatory enactments in the Republic of Latvia and its hierarchy. The main laws and their field of operation. The Cabinet regulations, their field of operation and principles of analysis. Strategic and policy documents, their characteristics. Institutional system in the agrarian sphere in Latvia and the EU. The content of classes within the part “Description of the institutional system and regulatory enactments; the legislation of agrarian economics”:
1. The EU regulatory enactments and their hierarchy.
2. The system of legal and regulatory enactments in the Republic of Latvia and its hierarchy.
3. Laws, Cabinet regulations, and strategic documents in the agrarian economics.

Requirements for awarding credit points

An examination should be passed.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The PhD student is preparing for the exam independently by conducting in-depth research on the theoretical framework, institutional system and regulatory framework on the thematic of the PhD thesis.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The assessment of the study course consists of an examination mark. In order to pass the exam, the PhD student carries out an in-depth analysis on the following issues - who are the most prominent researchers, which issues related to the PhD thesis have been researched to a greater extent, which have not been studied, as well as find out and investigate the institutional and regulatory basis that is binding on the theme of the thesis.
The exam is graded on a 10-point scale, if the grade is less than 4, the exam is not passed.

Compulsory reading

1. Creswell J.W., Creswell J.D. Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, 2013, 275 p.
2. Bhattacherjee A. Social Science Research: Principles, Methods, and Practices, 2012, 159 p.
3. Salkind N.J. Exploring Research. 8th Edition – Perason Education, 2012, 388 p.
4. Sekaran U., Bougie R. Research methods for business: a skill-building approach. 7th Edition – John Wiley & Sons, 2016, 420 p.

Further reading

1. Kroplijs A., Raščevska M. Kvalitatīvās pētniecības metodes sociālajās zinātnēs. Rīga, 2004, 178 lpp.
2. Therivel R., Wood G. Methods of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. 4th ed.
3. Singh K. Quantitative social research methods. Los Angeles : SAGE Publications, 2007, 431p.
4. Saaty Th.L. Principia Mathematica Decernendi: Mathematical Principles of Decision Making. RWS Publications, Pittsburgh, 2010, 531 p
5. Capello R. Regional Economics 2nd Revised edition. New York: Routledge, 2016. 354 p. ISBN 978-1-1-38-85588-5

Periodicals and other sources

1. Eiropas Savienības tiesību akti. Pieejams: http://ec.europa.eu/index_lv.htm
2. Latvijas Republikas tiesību akti. Pieejams: http://www.likumi.lv
3. Latvijas Republikas oficiālais izdevums „Latvijas Vēstnesis”. Pieejams: http://www.vestnesis.lv
4. Eiropas Savienības fondi. Pieejams: http://www.esfondi.lv
5. Latvijas Republikas Ministru kabinets. Pieejams: http://www.mk.gov.lv
6. Latvijas Republikas Zemkopības ministrija. Pieejams: http://www.zm.gov.lv
7. Latvijas Republikas Vides un reģionālās attīstības ministrija. Pieejams: http://www.varam.gov.lv

Notes

Science sub-field special course for PhD programme “Agrarian and regional economy”