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ECON 493: Capstone: Reference Materials

Starting Point for Researching Economic MODELS, THEORIES or the THEORISTS themselves

All of these specialized encyclopedias provide a general overview of a topic, as well as digging in rather deeply for topics that run more than 2 pages in length.  These sources include reference notes and extensive bibliographies that help you to locate other source material that was authored by respected researchers.

Since all of these recommended encyclopedias are multi-volume sets, the first thing you need to do is locate the volume containing the SUBJECT INDEX for each particular encyclopedia (usually the last volume of each set).  Then when you look up your topic you will probably find lots of main entries that look somewhat similar, as well as lots of INDENTED ENTRIES that are sub-topics that might be distributed throughout the multi-volume set.

Here is an example from one of these encyclopedias, looking at the SUBJECT INDEX for entries on COMPETITION (this is a two-page PDF).

In this case, if you only pulled the volume that carried entries starting with the letter "C", you would find less than 1/5th of all entries that actually discussed various aspects of Competition!  Those other entries are scattered across sixteen of the volumes from this one encyclopedia!

The first 2 resources in this group are massive multi-volume sets, each of which runs over a dozen volumes.  And each volume is about 900 pages thick!

These first two are the most important research encyclopedias for nearly every topic you might tackle under Economics as well as any angle of the Social Sciences.

They happen to have similar titles, but cover vastly different time spans:


International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences
  • published in 1968, containing coverage of classic theorists, researchers, authors and models of the social sciences prior to the 1960s.
  • located on the 2nd floor of the Hatfield Library with Call Number H 40 A2 I5 1968 (19 volumes with black cloth hardcovers)


International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • published in 2015, containing a mixture of classic models & theorists as well as modern day researchers from the 20th and 21st centuries.  There is very little overlap of topics between these 2 similar sounding encyclopedias.
  • located on the 1st floor of the Hatfield Library in the Reference Collection with Call Number H 41 I58 20I5 (26 volumes with black & turquoise glossy hardcovers).


Reference materials for Economics

Below are key reference books that provide a general overview of a topic or help identify synonyms, related terms, or basic data. These sources often include references and lists of further readings.

Gary Klein (librarian for Economics)

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Gary Klein
he / him / his
Mark O. Hatfield Library
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209