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Tools and Methods for Economists, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Metoder och verktyg för nationalekonomer

This syllabus is valid: 2022-01-03 and until further notice

Course code: 2NE079

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Economics: First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Economics

Revised by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2021-10-07


The main objective of this course is to give the student a fundamental understanding of methods for economists, theoretical as well as practical. Ethical aspects in research are included.

The methods that are presented during the course may be divided into two parts - mathematics and econometrics. During the first part of the course we discuss and apply concepts and methods in mathematics that are useful for theoretical work within economics as well as econometrics. Examples of such notions and methods are functional forms, systems of equations, logarithms, derivatives and optimization. Then, the course transitions into discussing econometrics where the focus is notions, interpretation and practical usage of the classical regression model (OLS). The econometric tools under discussion are also motivated theoretically.

The main focus is on OLS, but other methods are discussed and applied to handle econometric problems related mainly to types of variable and data. Examples are binary dependent variables and time series data. During the model we work with actual data material and presentation of results.

Expected learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students should be able to:
  1. Apply methods relevant for economists.
  2. Apply different functional forms, differentiate and optimize functions.
  3. Describe and explain the theoretical foundation for the classical regression model estimated by the method of ordinary least squares (OLS).
  4. Evaluate and understand limitations of the classical regression model (OLS).
  5. Using OLS as a starting point, discuss and apply methods for handling econometric problems and different types of variables and data.
  6. Apply relevant methods on different types of data, and show awareness for issues related to research ethics.
  7. Communicate conclusions drawn from scientific studies to different types audiences in a clear and pedagogic way.

Required Knowledge

For non-programme students applying as single-course students Economics A100 or equivalent is required.

Form of instruction

The education is given in form of lectures, group sessions and seminars.

Examination modes

The examination consists of written examination at the end of the course, assignments and seminars.

The results from assignments and seminars are only valid during the current semester. Student not having a Pass on assignments or seminars will be given additional, corresponding, parts on the final exam.

A second exam opportunity is always offered within a short time span after the regular exam date for those students not achieving a Pass. The subsequent exam opportunity is either the re-take opportunity the week before the fall semester or the next regular exam date.

The following grading system will be used: Pass with Distinction (Väl Godkänd), Pass (Godkänd) or Fail (Underkänd).

It is normally not possible to take additional examinations to reach a higher grade. Exceptions can be made for a student with the grade Fail on any of the examinations if the examiner (not the lecturer) finds this appropriate. The task must be a minor undertaking, closely related to the learning outcome not reached, and performed in close proximity to the original examination.

When a student has failed an examination on two occasions, he or she has the right to ask for another examiner. A written request for an alternative examiner should be handed to the Director of Studies no later than two weeks before the next examination opportunity.

Exceptions from examination form as stated in the syllabus can be made for a student who has a decision on pedagogical support for disabilities. Individual adaptations of the examination form should be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form shall be adapted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes stated in the course syllabus. At the request of the student, the course responsible teacher, in consultation with the examiner, must promptly decide on the adapted examination form. The decision must then be notified to the student.

Credit transfer
Academic credit transfers are according to the University credit transfer regulations.


Valid from: 2022 week 1

A practical guide to using econometrics
Studenmund A. H., Johnson Bruce K.
7. [rev.] ed. ; Global ed. : Harlow : Pearson : [2017] : 572 s. :
ISBN: 9781292154091
Search the University Library catalogue

Essential mathematics for economic analysis
Sydsæter Knut., Hammond Peter J., Strøm Arne.
4th ed. : Harlow : Pearson : 2012. : xviii, 745 p. :
ISBN: 978-0-273-76068-9 (pbk.) :
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: Cource Reference literature