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Tools and Methods for Economists, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Metoder och verktyg för nationalekonomer

This syllabus is valid: 2016-08-01 valid to 2022-01-02 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

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

Established by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2016-04-08


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 main categories: mathematics and econometrics. During the first part of the course we discuss notions and methods in mathematics that are useful for theoretical work within economics as well as econometrics. Examples of such notions and methods could be 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. The econometric tools under discussion are also motivated theoretically.
The main focus is on the classical regression model estimated by OLS and varieties and extensions of this model. During the course we work with actual data material and presentation of results. In conjunction with these practical exercises we also discuss how we can deal with endogeneity problems such as simultaneity, measurement error and omitted variables by the use of instrumental variables, panel data and natural experiments.

Expected learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students should be able to:

- Apply relevant methods for economists.
- Apply different functional forms, differentiate and optimize functions.
- Describe and explain the theoretical foundation for the classical regression model estimated by the method of ordinary least squares (OLS).
- Evaluate and understand limitations of the classical regression model in the presence of endogeneity and possibilities to extend the method to remedy such problems.
- Apply the classical regression model on relevant data and show awareness for issues related to research ethics.
- Communicate conclusions drawn from scientific studies to different types audiences in a clear and pedagogical 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 a right to have another grading teacher. A written request for an alternative examiner should be handed to the Dean of the Business School no later than two weeks before the next examination opportunity.

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


Valid from: 2016 week 31

Introduction to econometrics
Stock James H., Watson Mark W.
3. rev. ed., Global ed. : Harlow : Pearson Education : 2014 : 848 s. :
ISBN: 978-1-292-07131-2
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