Master & PhD in Economics
Institut Polytechnique de Paris

PhD Track in Economics

The PhD Track in Economics consists of the first two years (coursework period) of a five-year PhD program in Economics. Courses are entirely taught in English. It is aimed at students with a strong desire for research in quantitative economics.

The program heavily relies on advanced quantitative methods for both theoretical and empirical analysis. During the first year, students take advanced core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. They also engage in research projects under the supervision of faculty and acquire a first hands-on contact with research. During the second year, students will follow advanced methodological courses, and specialize in subfields of economics. By the end of that year, they should be at the research frontier within their main area of specialization and have gained successful research experience. They also write a first research paper for their PhD thesis.

At the end of the second year, students who has achieved sufficiently good grades, have written a research proposal and found a potential PhD supervisor within CREST may progress to the dissertation period (three years) of the PhD program. Progress is conditional on securing funding and IP Paris and CREST will do their best to help candidate to obtain such funding (e.g., IP Paris provides a limited number of three-year doctoral fellowships). During the second year of the program, students who specialize in financial economics or economic theory and decision sciences may also apply to the PhD program at HEC Paris.

Language of instruction: English
ECTS: 120
Oriented: Research
Duration: 2 years (coursework period, followed by the three-year dissertation phase)
Courses Location: IP Paris – Ecole polytechnique, ENSAE, and HEC Paris


Educational objectives of the track/M1/M2

The goal of this program is to provide an advanced training in economics at the highest international level with a strong emphasis on advanced quantitative methods for both theoretical and empirical analyses.

In the first year, students get acquainted with the most important analytical techniques used in economics. The training is mostly devoted to acquiring the most important tools in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics through a complete core course training, as well as completing a research internship.

During the second year, the PhD track offers dedicated advanced courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. Students also specialize by selecting field and specialization courses in a variety of sub-areas of economics. In some of these courses, they hand in supplementary work based on study of academic literature and on personal research. Fields of excellence at our CREST research center (and HEC Paris research group), and potential areas of specialization, include:
- Econometric theory,
- Environmental and development economics,
- Finance,
- Game and decision theory,
- Industrial organization and digital economics,
- International economics,
- Labor economics,
- Macroeconomics,
- Public economics.

Throughout the second year, students will regularly spend time within the research centers and will be allocated an individual advisor among the program faculty. They regularly attend CREST research seminars, conduct a research project and write a master’s dissertation under the supervision of a faculty member.


Program structure

First Year

- Preparatory course in Mathematics, Probability, and Statistics. 48 hours, late August and early September.

First semester (S1): Mandatory courses

Microeconomics 1: Individual decision-making and market equilibrium, 6 ECTS, 4 hours of lecture + 1.5 hours of exercises each week.

Macroeconomics 1: Economic Growth, 8 ECTS, 4 hours of lecture + 1.5 hours of exercises each week.

Econometrics 1: The linear regression model and extensions, 6 ECTS, 2 hours of lecture + 2 hours of exercises each week.

Introduction to Time series: 2 ECTS, 1,5 hours of lecture each week.

Second semester (S2): Mandatory courses

Microeconomics 2: Strategic Interactions and Information, 8 ECTS, 4 hours of lecture + 1.5 hours of exercises each week.

Macroeconomics 2: Business cycles, 8 ECTS, 4 hours of lecture + 1.5 hours of exercises each week.

Econometrics 2: Nonlinear models, qualitative data, and panel methods, 8 ECTS, 2 hours of lecture + 2 hours of exercises each week.

Project in economics, 4 ECTS

Research internship at CREST: 8 ECTS, 12 weeks minimum.

Second Year

During the second year, students take two of the three advanced courses (6 ECTS each):
- Advanced Microeconomics
- Advanced Macroeconomics
- Advanced Econometrics

In addition, they specialize and have to choose courses totaling 18 ECTS:

Field courses (3 or 4 ECTS)

- Experiments in Economics and Social Sciences
- Theory of Industrial Organization
- Empirical Industrial Organization
- International Trade
- Macro-Finance
- Monetary Economics
- Environmental Economics
- Public Finance
- Political Economy
- Public Economics
- Labor Economics
- Microeconometric Evaluation of Public Policies
- Structural Econometrics of Education
- Macroeconometrics
- Corporate Finance Theory
- Asset pricing
- Decising-making under uncertainty

Specialized courses (2 to 4 ECTS)

- Social Choice and Voting
- Consumer Economics and Pricing Strategies
- Competition Policy in Practice: Cases
- Applied Macroeconometrics
- Structural Macroeconomics
- Economics of Energy Markets
- Randomized Methods and Policy Evaluation
- Development Economics
- Urban Labor and Housing Markets
- Econometrics of Panel and Duration Data
- Machine Learning for Econometrics
- Banking and Financial Intermediation
- Digital Currencies and Blockchain
- Market Microstructure
- Empirical corporate finance
- Topics in Asset pricing
- Decision theory
- Dynamics of Information and Communication
- Advanced Decision Sciences

In at least two field and two specialized courses within the same area of specialization, students have to hand-in supplementary work based on study of academic literature and on personal research (4 x 2 ECTS).

Some of the specialization courses may be replaced by research reading groups lead by faculty members (with the permission of the program director).

Students attend at least one research seminar series at CREST throughout the year (2 ECTS).

Dissertation (20 ECTS)

Students start writing a research paper (master thesis of about 5,000 to 10,000 words) under the supervision of a faculty member. Fields of excellence at our CREST research center (and HEC Paris research group), and potential areas of specialization, include:
- Econometric theory,
- Environmental and development economics,
- Finance,
- Game and decision theory,
- Industrial economics,
- International economics,
- Labor economics,
- Macroeconomics,
- Public economics

Involved IP Paris Labs: CREST

Career prospects:
The program prepares students to start their doctoral dissertation at the end of the second year. Although the program is mainly designed as the coursework period of the PhD program, some students may decide, at the end of the two years, to look for job opportunities. Given the wide variety of courses, seminars, projects and internships proposed during the master; there are many job opportunities available, for instance in government agencies, international organizations, consulting, finance. Students may also prefer to join PhD programs in other international universities.

Institutional partners: HEC Paris

Tuition fees: students are exempted of the 6 000 euros annual fees and may apply for supplementary funding. More details on https://www.ip-paris.fr/phd-track-in-economics/.

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