Current Issues to Consider When Writing a Research Paper in Economics

If you’re in the middle of composing a research paper for an economics course or thesis, don’t just rely on your coursework and your text references to help you form a draft. Instead, look to contemporary issues on both a global and domestic level, and let the world around you inform how you write. Whether you are studying macro or microeconomics, public policy, or something else entirely, there are many aspects of the contemporary economic landscape to keep in mind. Here are some issues to consider.

Free Trade Agreements

Trade agreements have influenced prices, investment patterns, growth patterns, and foreign policy since the beginning of international trade, following the advent of advanced travel. Today, virtually ever marketplace is a global one, and no industry or individual consumer is divorced entirely from the terms of trade agreements. When writing your economic research paper, do a little historical research and brush up the state of current trade agreements. NAFTA and the G8 are crucial topics you should know a great deal about before writing your paper.

Behavioral Economics

The field of Economics is in the midst of a heated debate about behavioral analyses and experimental study as applied to economic behavior. While traditional economic theorists assumed that people behave in rational and self-serving ways, current psychological research instead suggests that people are motivated by a number of illogical factors, and can easily be swayed into making purchases or investments that do not serve them well.

Regardless of whether you accept the validity of this field or not, you should become well versed in it, as it is one of the major issues in the academic study of economics today, and will likely remain so in the future. In fact, most of the recent Nobel Price winners in Economics have been psychologists!

Corporate Personhood

In the United States, corporations have the same legal standing as private citizens. This entitles corporations to rights such as free speech, which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to mean the right to spend money on public political campaigns, among other things. The jurisprudence that holds that corporate entities are people has had far reaching implications on the legal system in the United States, and has also strongly influenced the economic wellbeing on large private institutions. Make sure to read up on the court cases that lead to corporate personhood, as well as economic research on the effects of this controversial policy. This will likely come into play when drafting your research paper.