CHAPTER 4

Choosing a Research Topic, Question, and Hypothesis

This chapter, true to its title, is about choosing a research topic, research question, and if warranted (or more importantly, if wanted), a research hypothesis. But first, we must define each, or better yet, explain what each is.

What Is a Topic, Question, and Hypothesis?

A research topic is the broadest area of economics for which someone has an interest. Being a globalization, growth and development economist, my topic area would be cross-country economic growth as I don’t typically perform case study work involving only one country. For labor economists, their topic area would be a general field within labor, for instance, migration. For those interested in industrial organization, ...

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