Course code EkonD123

Credit points 6

Research Methodology in Economics I

Total Hours in Course162

Number of hours for lectures32

Independent study hours130

Date of course confirmation29.01.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Economics and Finance

Course developers

author prof.

Baiba Rivža

Dr. habil. oec.

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Signe Dobelniece

Dr. phil.

author Datoru sistēmu un datu zinātnes institūts

Līga Zvirgzdiņa

Dr. oec.

author prof.

Irina Pilvere

Dr. oec.

Course abstract

Study course will focus on the highest level of theoretical knowledge by attending lecture cycle about basic principles of designing the research program, the main conditions and limitations of defining the main elements of the research, the basic conditions for the selection of the methods appropriate for the research. The course program is designed so that PhD students gain in-depth understanding and knowledge of the basic principles of the organization of research process and research, as well as have a critical understanding of most commonly used quantitative and qualitative research methods in economic research – analysis and synthesis, inductive and deductive methods, hierarchy analysis, surveys and interviews, variance analysis, correlation and regression analysis, dynamic time series analysis, data grouping, cluster analysis, input-output analysis, trends, etc. During the course doctoral students are introduced to social research methods in the specifics of economic research. In addition, in the study course PhD students gain a critical understanding of the main principles of data acquisition and preparation.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge - specialized knowledge and critical understanding of the basic principles of the organization of research process and research; demonstrates a thorough understanding of the research environment in Latvia and is able to identify relevant regularities; critically comprehend the application possibilities of sociological research methods and limitations in economic research; the highest level knowledge of the principles of selection of quantitative and qualitative methods and the key conditions for acquisition, aggregation and processing of data in research.
Knowledge is assessed by the following methods: discussions, debates, case studies.
Skills - critically assess and effectively apply proper quantitative and qualitative methods for their research; perform an in-depth assessment and solution of problem situations related to research planning and management; critically assess the research environment in Latvia and the factors affecting it.
Skills are assessed using the following methods: discussions; problem case studies.
Competences - demonstrates a remarkable ability to independently launch own research by performing an in-depth assessment of the diversity of quantitative and qualitative methods for economic research and selecting and critically substantiating the most proper methods for their research; demonstrates scientific independence by effectively planning and organising individual research work as well as by preparing for doing the research.
Competences are assessed by the following methods: discussions; practical assignments.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Introduction into research
The study programme, its stages and evaluation criteria. Organisation of the research process. Development of the research plan.
Research process. Research stages. Types of research. Research problem and topicality. Hypothesis. Aims and tasks. Defining of the problem. Research issue. Science sub-sector. Research object and subject. Limitation of the theme. Classification generation and quality assessment of information. Data collection steps. Research process. The most common difficulties and problems. Research report.
2. Research environment in Latvia
Latvian science policy. Research organization system in Latvia: scientific institutions; coordinating and responsible institutions. Latvia's progress in implementing research. Main mechanisms for financing research. Importance of international cooperation in research. Research at LLU, topicalities, infrastructure, development goals, position of doctoral students and contribution to LLU research.
3. Possibilities for application of the survey method in the economic research studies
Introduction into sociological methods. Surveys, interviews. Analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction.
4. Methods for the collection of qualitative research data and their characteristics compared with quantitative ones
Cognitive process. Levels of the cognitive process: empirical and theoretical. Qualitative and quantitative. Methods for the acquisition of information (data) in the study. Reliability of the information. Document research methods: classical analysis and content analysis. Information processing methods, general research methods: induction and deduction, analysis and synthesis. Abstraction, formalisation, idealisation, constructive calculation and monographic methods. Ideal structure of science for the cognitive process.
Qualitative research, its characteristics. Fundamental issues for the development of qualitative research. Selection factors for qualitative research approach. The research plan and the researcher's role. Peculiarities of observations. Advantages and disadvantages of research approaches and their combinations. The choice of research and its application in economic studies. Analysis of qualitative data. Interpretation of qualitative data.
Strategies for quantitative research in social studies. The survey method and its implementation types. Drafting of a questionnaire and principles for the formulation of questions. Sampling principles and their compliance with the study objectives. Possibilities for the application of other quantitative methods. Study encompassing mixed methods, strategy for its implementation. Ethical issues in quantitative studies. Field work planning and implementation issues.
5. Principles and substantiation for the choice of quantitative methods; main conditions for the acquisition and preparation of the corresponding data
Methods of mathematical statistics as a cognitive tool for quantitative analysis. Basic principles for the choice of quantitative methods. Most often applied mathematical statistical parametric and non-parametric two-sample or multi-sample analysis in economic studies. Parametric and non-parametric data processing methods, their essence and conditions for application.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Test should be passed.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

PhD student prepares for lectures independently by studying basic and supplementary literature.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Assessment of the study course consists of a test. To pass the test, the PhD student attends at least 80% of the lectures.

Compulsory reading

1. Ievads pētniecībā: stratēģijas, dizaini, metodes. Sast. K.Mārtinsone. Rīga: Raka, 2011, 284 lpp.
2. Neuman W. Social research methods. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2011, 631 p.
3. Anderson D.R., Sweeney D. J., Williams T.A. Quantitative Methods for Business, 10th ed. Thomson Publishing, 2006, 850 p.

Further reading

1. Jonker J., Pennink B.P. The Essence of Research Methodology: A Concise Guide for Master and PhD Students in Management Science. Springer, 2007, 478 p.
2. Creswell J.W. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 3rd ed. Sage Publications, Inc, 2008, 296 p.
3. Mixed methods. Ed. by A. Bryman. Volumes I, II, III, IV. London: SAGE Publications, 2006, 1680 p.
4. Graham A. Statistics: An Introduction. UK: Teach Yourself Books, 2017. 301 p.

Periodicals and other sources



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