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Difference Between Writing an FDI Dissertation at Undergraduate and Masters Level

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a widely studied topic in business and economics research and is one of the top choices of both Undergraduate and Master’s students. FDI is a vast topic which is not only limited to the study of investments made by a foreign firm in another country, but also covers topics such as joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, implications for growth and spill over effects.

Writing a final dissertation is used by universities to test the understanding of students and the skills gained during their Undergraduate or Master’s courses. FDI dissertations are broadly divided into those that explore the determinants of FDI and those that investigate specific implications of FDI for the economy of the host countries. Within each type of study, there are many possibilities for creating narrow topics that will make a good title for a dissertation. However, it must be noted that writing an FDI dissertation at a Master’s level is very different from writing the same dissertation at an Undergraduate level.  This article will help you understand the key differences between an Undergraduate and a Master’s level dissertation on FDI.

  • Nature of the Dissertation

The nature of the dissertation greatly varies at both levels. While an FDI dissertation at the Undergraduate level can be written by taking an example of a similar study and changing the context, such as applying the same methods in a new country or set of countries, a Master’s level dissertation requires more originality. Students at a Master’s level are expected to expand or enhance previous studies on a similar topic. This can be done by applying new methods, testing new variables or exploring a new relationship that was not paid attention to before.

  • Range of Topics

At Undergraduate level, students can choose simple topics related to FDI, such as the effect of FDI on developing economies, the determinants of FDI, its influence on poverty, economic inequality, economic growth, etc. These topics are based on theories such as the eclectic OLI paradigm and neoclassical growth theories in economics. However, at the Master’s level, students are expected to conduct an in-depth research on the chosen topic and, with the help of critical arguments, explain the gap in the existing literature. Thus, the topic for a Master’s level dissertation will include studies of mediating effects, unique relationships, spill over effects or dynamic relationships between variables. Students are further advised to give their opinions on how their research can contribute to the knowledge in the selected field of study.

  • Conducting Research

When writing an Undergraduate dissertation on FDI, students are expected to show knowledge of available theories and moderate technical skills in econometrics to conduct an analysis. However, at the Master’s level students are expected to demonstrate their skills by conducting independent research, as well as advanced knowledge of statistics. For example, they should not only test the effects of FDI or significance of factors of FDI, but also explore potential issues such as the problem of endogeneity in the relationship between variables and conduct robustness tests.

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