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Economic solutions to global challenges

Become an all-round economist

The Master's in Economics is a high-quality one-year programme. The first part of the programme consists of three compulsory core courses focusing on the foundations of the discipline at an advanced level. You also take three elective courses that can be combined into a specialization. Two pieces of independent academic work, a research project and a final thesis, complete the programme requirements. Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff.

The programme is highly esteemed by its students and is one of the top Economics programmes in the Netherlands.

To break it down:

  • You’ll take five core courses, all of which will prepare you for any career in Economics:
    • Introduction to Econometrics
    • Applied Econometrics
    • Intermediate Microeconomics
    • Advanced Macroeconomics
    • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • You’ll take three electives, chosen from:
    • Economics of Climate Change
    • Economics of the Welfare State
    • Globalization, Growth and Development
    • Industrial Organization and Competition Policy
    • Macroeconomic Policy in the EU
    • Microeconomics for Development
    • Labour Economics
    • Macro and International Finance 
    • Data Analytics for Economists

      You may choose to select one elective from outside of the programme, upon prior approval from the examination board.

  • You’ll conduct a research project that will allow you to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills, as well as preparing you to write your Master’s thesis.
  • You’ll write a Master’s Thesis on the topic of your choice, in consultation with your advisor.

If you choose to specialise in a particular area of Economics, your choice of electives and thesis topics becomes more focused.

Which specialisation do you choose?

Find out what the different possibilities are within the master's programme

Summary

Development Economics applies basic tools of economics to key policy issues in developing countries and transition economies. This specialization discusses topics like: the role of constraints (for example through exposure to risk) on the ability of households to escape from poverty through asset accumulation; the potential for sustainable land use in areas with rapid population growth; the economic implications of migration. and the scope for economic growth through industrial development. These topics, along with aggregate aspects of growth and inequality, and broader issues of human development, shape the curriculum of the Development Economics specialization.

The approach of the specialization is strongly empirical, using case studies or survey data for individual households or firms to test competing theories and to evaluate the impact of implemented policy initiatives and specific development projects.

Summary

This specialization studies economic aspects of pressing global issues. Course work straddles areas of environmental policy, global warming and climate change, but also the division between developed countries and the developing world, affecting life and decisions of billions (poverty, access to health and education, migration). All courses feature the application of relevant theoretical and empirical insights to practical issues. You will learn to use modern tools of analysis to investigate potential solutions and formulate policy recommendations. Global challenges are much wider, and thesis work can further delve into issues of, for instance, global diffusion of technical change and innovation, international tax and welfare competition, or international political economy.

The specialization is jointly supported by teaching staff from the Department of Economics and of Spatial Economics. Both host internationally renowned staff, all actively participating in national and international economic policy debates. After completing course work and thesis you are well equipped for a career as a policy economist in international or national government agencies such as the European Commission or ministries, policy analysis institutions, internationally operating consultancy firms, or NGOs.

Summary

The specialization International and Macroeconomic Policy focuses on trade, growth and coordination of fiscal and monetary policy. This specialization builds upon foundations of advanced macroeconomics: What determines long-run growth and productivity; what is the use of fiscal and monetary policy for economic stabilization?

Specialization courses discuss, inter alia, strategies in coordination and cooperation needed to maintain and promote the integration of Europe: How are tasks divided between EU and national authorities, can the Euro area be stabilized and is further expansion desirable? Another area focuses on growth in developing nations: What role do institutional (social and political) factors play in promoting growth, how do incentives affect savings and investment of households and firms, and what is the impact of foreign aid on development?

In the programme, you will also gain insight into the drivers of growth in industrialized countries, specifically the strategies of firms to boost innovation and growth, and the role of policy.

Our highly reputable teaching faculty has an international track record in academia, central banking, and policy advice.

Summary

Human capital is the most valuable asset of individuals. Sufficient human capital allows people to be successful on the labour market and if individuals work they gain additional human capital. Health and education are other important determinants of human capital. A well-functioning labour market, health care market and educational system are therefore essential for any economy. Not surprisingly, these markets are the most important areas of attention of governments. However, the degree of regulation differs between markets and is often heavily debated.

In this specialization, you learn about the trade-offs between efficiency and protection faced by policy makers when making decisions on the welfare state. This implies that you study the pros and cons of government interventions concerning for example benefits systems, health insurance markets, provision of long-term care and how to regulate care providers. Since there is no one-size-fits-all policy available for the labour market and markets associated to health, this specialization is largely empirical driven and compares different institutional settings.

Summary

The specialization studies in market analytics focuses on various aspects relevant for understanding economic markets. This specialization discusses both theoretical concepts on measuring for example market power and competition as well as methods for data driven analysis of relevant processes. The theoretical analysis uses techniques from microeconomics on firm behavior, price setting and innovation, but also considers public policy of market authorities that aim at reducing market power of a firm within a single market. The empirical part focuses on how the effectiveness of public policy can be evaluated and introduces students with big data and machine learning techniques that can be used to analyze processes relevant for firms. A thesis in this specialization can be theoretical or empirical and can focus on firm behavior or on public policy.

After completing this specialization you are well equipped to work either for a market authority or for a firm using data science techniques which can for example be found in the financial and tech sector.

Summary

Public Policy studies the main societal challenges of today and tomorrow, including the future of the welfare state, aging of society, global environmental challenges, urbanization of our societies, globalization, and economic development and inequality. The programme addresses questions on market performance and failures, and associated policies, studied from the perspective of incentives and economic behaviour of individual firms and households. It also covers macroeconomic policies directed at aggregate growth and employment.

It is generally felt that effective public policies to address the great societal challenges are urgently needed, but not ready on the shelf. What can policy makers do to live up to the challenges encountered in our pension systems? What is the role for policy in the developing world, where billions still suffer? How to deal with the climate change from an economic perspective? How to make sure that in a rapidly urbanizing world, cities will become or remain places where people can live healthily, safely and happily?

The programme covers both micro- and macroeconomic perspectives on policies at an advanced level. This provides you with a very rich set of perspectives on economic policy analysis. Therefore, this programme offers you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to tackle complex problems at a high level of abstraction, while emphasizing the need to translate theoretical solutions and empirical evidence into clear-cut policy advice.

The first part of the programme consists of two compulsory core courses focusing on the foundations of public economics and research methods. Next four field courses concerning different aspects of public policy. Two pieces of independent academic work, a research project and a final thesis, complete the programme requirements. Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff.

  • Development Economics

    Summary

    Development Economics applies basic tools of economics to key policy issues in developing countries and transition economies. This specialization discusses topics like: the role of constraints (for example through exposure to risk) on the ability of households to escape from poverty through asset accumulation; the potential for sustainable land use in areas with rapid population growth; the economic implications of migration. and the scope for economic growth through industrial development. These topics, along with aggregate aspects of growth and inequality, and broader issues of human development, shape the curriculum of the Development Economics specialization.

    The approach of the specialization is strongly empirical, using case studies or survey data for individual households or firms to test competing theories and to evaluate the impact of implemented policy initiatives and specific development projects.

  • Global Challenges

    Summary

    This specialization studies economic aspects of pressing global issues. Course work straddles areas of environmental policy, global warming and climate change, but also the division between developed countries and the developing world, affecting life and decisions of billions (poverty, access to health and education, migration). All courses feature the application of relevant theoretical and empirical insights to practical issues. You will learn to use modern tools of analysis to investigate potential solutions and formulate policy recommendations. Global challenges are much wider, and thesis work can further delve into issues of, for instance, global diffusion of technical change and innovation, international tax and welfare competition, or international political economy.

    The specialization is jointly supported by teaching staff from the Department of Economics and of Spatial Economics. Both host internationally renowned staff, all actively participating in national and international economic policy debates. After completing course work and thesis you are well equipped for a career as a policy economist in international or national government agencies such as the European Commission or ministries, policy analysis institutions, internationally operating consultancy firms, or NGOs.

  • International and Macroeconomic Policy

    Summary

    The specialization International and Macroeconomic Policy focuses on trade, growth and coordination of fiscal and monetary policy. This specialization builds upon foundations of advanced macroeconomics: What determines long-run growth and productivity; what is the use of fiscal and monetary policy for economic stabilization?

    Specialization courses discuss, inter alia, strategies in coordination and cooperation needed to maintain and promote the integration of Europe: How are tasks divided between EU and national authorities, can the Euro area be stabilized and is further expansion desirable? Another area focuses on growth in developing nations: What role do institutional (social and political) factors play in promoting growth, how do incentives affect savings and investment of households and firms, and what is the impact of foreign aid on development?

    In the programme, you will also gain insight into the drivers of growth in industrialized countries, specifically the strategies of firms to boost innovation and growth, and the role of policy.

    Our highly reputable teaching faculty has an international track record in academia, central banking, and policy advice.

  • Labour and Health

    Summary

    Human capital is the most valuable asset of individuals. Sufficient human capital allows people to be successful on the labour market and if individuals work they gain additional human capital. Health and education are other important determinants of human capital. A well-functioning labour market, health care market and educational system are therefore essential for any economy. Not surprisingly, these markets are the most important areas of attention of governments. However, the degree of regulation differs between markets and is often heavily debated.

    In this specialization, you learn about the trade-offs between efficiency and protection faced by policy makers when making decisions on the welfare state. This implies that you study the pros and cons of government interventions concerning for example benefits systems, health insurance markets, provision of long-term care and how to regulate care providers. Since there is no one-size-fits-all policy available for the labour market and markets associated to health, this specialization is largely empirical driven and compares different institutional settings.

  • Market Analytics

    Summary

    The specialization studies in market analytics focuses on various aspects relevant for understanding economic markets. This specialization discusses both theoretical concepts on measuring for example market power and competition as well as methods for data driven analysis of relevant processes. The theoretical analysis uses techniques from microeconomics on firm behavior, price setting and innovation, but also considers public policy of market authorities that aim at reducing market power of a firm within a single market. The empirical part focuses on how the effectiveness of public policy can be evaluated and introduces students with big data and machine learning techniques that can be used to analyze processes relevant for firms. A thesis in this specialization can be theoretical or empirical and can focus on firm behavior or on public policy.

    After completing this specialization you are well equipped to work either for a market authority or for a firm using data science techniques which can for example be found in the financial and tech sector.

  • Public Policy

    Summary

    Public Policy studies the main societal challenges of today and tomorrow, including the future of the welfare state, aging of society, global environmental challenges, urbanization of our societies, globalization, and economic development and inequality. The programme addresses questions on market performance and failures, and associated policies, studied from the perspective of incentives and economic behaviour of individual firms and households. It also covers macroeconomic policies directed at aggregate growth and employment.

    It is generally felt that effective public policies to address the great societal challenges are urgently needed, but not ready on the shelf. What can policy makers do to live up to the challenges encountered in our pension systems? What is the role for policy in the developing world, where billions still suffer? How to deal with the climate change from an economic perspective? How to make sure that in a rapidly urbanizing world, cities will become or remain places where people can live healthily, safely and happily?

    The programme covers both micro- and macroeconomic perspectives on policies at an advanced level. This provides you with a very rich set of perspectives on economic policy analysis. Therefore, this programme offers you the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to tackle complex problems at a high level of abstraction, while emphasizing the need to translate theoretical solutions and empirical evidence into clear-cut policy advice.

    The first part of the programme consists of two compulsory core courses focusing on the foundations of public economics and research methods. Next four field courses concerning different aspects of public policy. Two pieces of independent academic work, a research project and a final thesis, complete the programme requirements. Thanks to the compact, personal nature of the programme there is plenty of interaction with the teaching staff.

Economics: Research Master

Do you want to challenge yourself even further? The Tinbergen Institute offers a two year research master in Economics, which is a joint degree operated by Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Amsterdam and VU Amsterdam. It is the entry point to fully paid positions at 3 faculties in The Netherlands. This research master prepares you for obtaining a PhD in Economics.

Learn more about the Research Master in Economics

Change your future with the Economics programme

Change your future with the Economics programme

On completing this Master’s programme, you are able to write policies for the public sector but can also start as an analyst in the public sector. As a graduate you’ll be a valuable addition to any research or analytics team. Your skills in data analysis will make you a top consultant in any Economics-related field.

Explore your future prospects
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