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Master of Arts in Business Economics

Each student must complete the equivalent of nine one-term courses. The equivalent of six half-credit courses are required, while three are electives

See the progression requirements for the Master of Arts in Business Economics (MABE) for further information.

Master's Research Paper

EC681: Research Paper and Seminar

In the third academic term of the MABE program, students must take EC681: Research Paper and Seminar. This course is intended as a culmination of the MABE program and its importance to the program is reflected in the fact that it has a weight of two courses, though it takes place in one term.

In this course, students are expected to apply many of the skills that have been stressed throughout the program. The main requirement of the course is the production of a research paper involving the application of economic analysis to a policy or applied question. Students are evaluated on their writing and presentation skills, in addition to the quality of their economic analysis.

Note: Students are not allowed to register in EC681 while on their co-op work term.


EC681 has a course coordinator who is responsible for the scheduling and evaluation of most elements of the course. Each student is also required to choose a supervisor who is knowledgeable in the area of research chosen and will be available to supervise the research paper.

While the specific format of the course varies from year to year, it always involves one or more presentations at an early stage of the analysis and writing as well as a final presentation based on the completed paper. The first presentation (along the lines of a research proposal) occurs very early in the term (at the end of Week 2).


It is challenging to choose a suitable topic for the research paper, contact a supervisor and prepare a proposal in the short window available during the first few weeks of term. For this reason, students are encouraged to begin thinking about possible topics for their research paper during their second academic term or, where applicable, while on their co-op work term. They are also encouraged to contact possible supervisors to determine their suitability for the topic under consideration as well as their availability to supervise.

Students may choose research topics related to their co-op placements. It is important, however, that students choose topics for which suitable supervisors are available.

Ethical Review

Ethical Review covers the following categories of research:

  • Research involving human participants.
  • Focus groups.
  • Experiments with human participants.
  • The secondary use of data that identifies those who provided the data.
  • Use of confidential data.

Graduate students and faculty research projects falling under heading 1 to 5 require ethical review and approval by Laurier’s Research Ethics Board. If you feel that your research paper may fall in any of these categories, you should visit Laurier’s Research Ethics page for more information and raise the issue with your supervisor prior to collecting data or information from the participants. Surveys and interviews are subject to ethical review.

Confidential Data

Some MABE students have completed research papers based on confidential data supplied to them by a firm. By way of an example, a firm may provide some confidential financial data to a MABE student on the condition that the data remain confidential. In such cases, the following conditions apply:

  • The student and supervisor must take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of the information provided.
  • The research paper and all its findings are public documents, and providers of confidential information cannot interfere with the publication of the research paper, even if its conclusions are unfavourable to the provider of the data.

If you plan to base your paper on confidential information, contact the director of the MABE program.