Ph.D. and MSQ in Quantitative Economics

The Ph.D. Program is designed to ensure that students acquire a thorough knowledge of economic theory, the structure of modern economies, as well as econometric and computational methods before beginning their own research under faculty supervision.

In the first year students attend core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and mathematical methods. At the end of that year they must pass qualifying examinations in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. In the second year students complete field courses in two to three fields of their election and begin to work on their own research with the support of a faculty advisor, whose main role is to help them to make the transition from coursework to research and to identify suitable dissertation topics. By the end of their third year students must have completed their first research paper. The dissertation is completed in the fourth year of the program. It must be a major piece of research and its chapters must have the potential for publication in an international scientific journal.

First-year students in the corresponding Master Program enroll in the same set of courses as their peers from the Ph.D. Program. Those who complete their first year of studies with strong success are eligible and strongly encouraged to join the Ph.D. Program from their second year of studies onwards. Students who continue their education in the Master Program have the option to enroll from the second year on in concentration courses with an emphasis on policy issues and/or on issues of implementation. The Master Program in Quantitative Economics is completed with a Master thesis written in the final months of the second year of studies.

Students who decide to take part in both programs may earn both an MSQ and a Ph.D. degree in a total of four years.

Ph.D. Structure

Pre-Semester: Mathematics and Statistics
Winter Term: Advanced Econometrics 1 (8 CP), Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 1 (8 CP), Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1 (8 CP), Mathematical Methods (8 CP)
Summer Term: Advanced Econometrics 2 (8 CP), Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 2 (8 CP), Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2 (8 CP), Historical and Normative Foundations (8 CP)
Qualifying Examinations
Winter Term: Field Courses, Workshop Attendance
Summer Term: Field Courses, Seminar, Workshop Attendance
Fields Offered:
Development and International Economics (including Cross-Country Studies, Development Microeconomics, Economic Growth, International Trade)
Econometrics (including Bayesian Econometrics, Dynamic Panel Models, Econometrics of Duration and Transition Data, Long Memory in Time-Series, Non-Parametric Econometrics)
Finance (including Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance Theory, Empirical Banking, Household Finance, Option Pricing, Taxes and Finance)
Law and Economics (including Epistemics of Law and Economics, European Cross-Border Business, Law of International Financial Institutions)
Macroeconomics (including Consumption and Saving, Economic Growth, Family Macroeconomics, Household Finance, Monetary Theory and Policy, Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Numerical Methods in Macroeconomics)
Marketing (including Bayesian Modelling for Marketing, Customer Management and Social Media, Pricing and Online-Advertising, Structural Models and Competition)
Microeconomics and Management (including Behavioral Auction Theory, Behavioral Economics, Decision Making under Risk and Ambiguity, Economics of Taxation, Empirical Labor Economics, Empirics of Contracts, Experimental Economics, General Equilibrium Theory: History, Incentives in Organizations, Intergenerational Economics, Modeling Group Behavior Using Game Theory, Taxes and Finance)
Workshop Attendance
Independent Studies Course (Teaching Skills)
Third-Year Research Paper
Workshop Attendance
Job Market Course
Thesis Defense

During either the third or fourth year in the program, students may spend one or two semesters abroad for a research stay at an internationally top ranked Ph.D. program. Such stays are facilitated by the faculty advisor.

First Year Courses

The following list summarizes typical first-year course contents but the details of the offerings may differ from year to year, depending on the faculty member teaching the course in question. For more details on these courses in any given year as well as the field courses, please consult the course syllabi typically retrievable on individual faculty members’ websites.

Mathematics and Statistics: real analysis, advanced calculus, linear algebra, static optimization, probability theory, estimation and hypothesis testing, linear regression model.

Advanced Econometrics 1: fundamentals of linear regression (OLS, SUR, 2SLS, 3SLS, GMM, QML), cross-section regression models with limited dependent variables, static panel data models.
Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 1: dynamic optimization in models with representative and with heterogeneous agents, consumption, investment, saving and financial markets.
Advanced Microeconomic Theory 1: theory of the household, theory of the firm, decisions under uncertainty, market equilibrium, static and dynamic games under alternative information structures.
Mathematical Methods: probability theory, measure theory, stochastic processes, topology, difference and differential equations, dynamic optimization, numerical methods.
Advanced Econometrics 2: integration and cointegration, single and multiple equation time-series models (ARMA, ARDL, VAR, VECM), spectral analysis, conditional heteroskedasticity.
Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 2: structure of DSGE models, monopolistic competition and pricing, strategic complementarities, optimal monetary and fiscal policy, learning.
Advanced Microeconomic Theory 2: contract theory (moral hazard, adverse selection, mechanism design, incomplete contracts), general equilibrium theory, welfare economics, externalities.
Historical and Normative Foundations: history of economic thought (illustrated in the context of modeling economic growth and/or the modeling of financial crises), normative foundations.