PhD in Economics at CREST

Program Overview

The PhD program at CREST builds on our Master in Economics (jointly managed by Ecole Polytechnique and ENSAE ParisTech in partnership with HEC Paris). After two years of comprehensive training in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Econometrics but also in one or two fields of specialization, candidates joining our PhD program have a solid training allowing them to devote most of their time to their research project and to writing their dissertation.

During these three years, PhD candidates participate in the life of at least one of the research groups at CREST as well as in internal and external seminars. They also encourage to present their research work at international conferences, to participate in specialized summer schools or research workshops or even to spend time visiting some of our partner institutions.


Program requirements

Throughout the program, students must engage in original research work. To successfully complete the program, students are expected to have written three independent research papers that should be publishable in a good international peer-reviewed journal.

During the whole program, each candidate will be affiliated with one of the three main research groups at CREST: Microeconomics (e.g., microeconomic theory, public economics, industrial organization, experimental economics), Macroeconomics (including labour economics and International Trade) or Econometrics (e.g., applied econometrics, public policy evaluation, econometric theory). Each candidate is expected to participate actively (including by presenting his/her own research work) in the weekly group seminar as well as attending the PhD research seminar.

PhD candidates are also expected to attend the doctoral courses (e.g., FPR courses or lectures by invited professors at Ecole Polytechnique or ENSAE ParisTech) in their field of specialization.


Year 1

During the first year of program, PhD candidates attend the courses that have been deemed necessary by the recruiting committee or attend one or two courses from the Master in Economics that they have not previously attended: the choice of which students should attend is made with the candidate’s supervisor(s).

They start working on their first research paper. At the end of the year, PhD candidates present a progress report (a preliminary paper or at least original research work that would form the basis of their first paper) to an internal committee [set-up by the PhD directors] of (at least) three members including the supervisor(s) and two other faculty members. This progress report includes an oral presentation of at least 15-20 minutes, followed by a discussion with the committee members. It should take place either just before the summer break (late June / early July) or at the very start of the new academic year (early September).


Year 2 / Year 3

During the second and third year of the program, PhD candidates devotes most of their time to their research papers. They actively participate in CREST’s activities (internal and external seminars, reading groups, etc.) and attend training sessions to gain their full credits.

At this stage, PhD candidates are expected to submit their papers (if approved by their supervisor) to international conferences [e.g., European Summer Meeting of the Econometric Society, Annual conferences of the major European associations such as EALE, EEA, EARIE, etc.] or important conference held in France [French Econometrics Conference, Journée de Microéconomie Appliquée, Congrès de l’AFSE, Journée Gérard-Varet, etc.].

At the end of each academic year, the PhD candidate meets with her/his “Comité de Suivi” (at least two members of the PhD program outside the supervision committee) to present an annual progress report. The “Comité de Suivi” is set-up by the PhD directors and the candidate’s supervisor(s). The report written by this committee is required to enrol in the third year of the PhD program or to request an exemption to enrol for an additional year. Candidates are expected to defend their PhD (consisting of three independent research papers) during the fourth year at the latest.

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