The final paper should be approximately 10-15 pages in length, double-spaced wit


The final paper should be approximately 10-15 pages in length, double-spaced with 1
inch margins. • In addition, the following guidelines apply:
• Your paper should involve the analysis of an important, well-defined topic in health economics. • The paper should conform to an acceptable style and be thoroughly and correctly
documented through the use of current references from scholarly, peer reviewed journals (minimum of 10 required), endnotes, or footnotes. • Suggested Paper Outline: 1. Title (or Topic), 2. Introduction and Statement of the Problem (specific questions that will be addressed, why the topic is important, how you plan to approach the problem), 3. Review of the Relevant Literature, 4. Analysis, Interpretation, Arguments, 5. Conclusions and Recommendations to Policy Makers. In addition, the following advice taken from Santerre and Neun (2004), authors of Health
Economics: Theories , Insights, and Industry Studies, should be heeded:
• A good paper must have a well-developed thesis or hypothesis. A thesis is a position,
or proposition, that you intend to substantiate or prove with theory and facts. A strong
research paper must be well-researched. Although it is difficult to establish the exact
number of references a good paper usually cites, it is difficult to imagine a good paper
with less than ten sources. When you do your research be sure to access textbooks, books, economic journals, current periodicals and newspapers.
• Begin your paper with an INTRODUCTION. It should be approximately two pages
in length and its purpose is to outline what you intend to accomplish in the paper. A
clear concise statement of your hypothesis is a must. The importance of the question
or hypothesis should be made clear at this point. (Perhaps, some telling statistics
bearing on the issue can be cited.) In addition, briefly explain your methodology and
conclusions at the end of this section. Remember, you are not writing a mystery novel, so don’t be afraid to tell the reader what you intend to accomplish and how you
intend to do it.
• The second section, LITERATURE REVIEW, provides a review, synthesis and
critique of the previous literature surrounding the hypothesis under investigation. You
should explain how your paper fits in with the previous literature and discuss the
novelty of your contribution. This section should be about three pages long.
• The third section, ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION, AND ARGUMENTS, should
be the main body of the paper, and it is here where you specify and develop your
arguments to substantiate your thesis. You should draw on the economic theory and
empirical findings discussed in class, or which you uncovered during your research
from prior studies, to provide the theoretical underpinnings for your argument. It is
very important that you logically develop your arguments, so you do not contradict
yourself. It is equally important that you are careful in the use of theory. The worst
mistake you can make is to misrepresent known theory. Finally, if assumptions are
needed then be bold – make them! When you write this section avoid using the first
person. You are trying to persuade the reader based upon economic theory and
empirical evidence, and not upon your personal convictions. A paper which states ‘I
think’ this or ‘I feel’ that is too personal and emotional. Try to convince the reader
based upon the strength of your arguments and not your personal beliefs. This section
should be about five pages long.
• The last section of the paper is the CONCLUSION and should be about two pages
in length. Here you sum up the arguments and discuss the (policy) implications of
your research.
Following is a list of the most common problems found on former student papers. Points will be deducted from your grade if your paper has these problems:
1. Each paragraph should have a distinct message with a main sentence that
includes the main point of the paragraph.
2. The economic relevance of the issue should be made explicit and should be an
underlying theme that runs throughout the paper.
3. Check for grammar and spelling errors. Do not rely exclusively on software
to do this for you.
4. Be careful about matching verbs and plural/singular nouns. 5. Do not use contractions.
6. Be careful about words that sound the same…there/their, led/lead,
affect/effect.


Leave a Reply