Economics serving society

Curriculum

PPD Master’s ambition and innovation

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The PPD Master prepares students to become experts in designing, analyzing and evaluating public policies in both developed and developing countries. It relies on a rigorous training in analytical and quantitative economic methods.

The curriculum combines classes with a traditional lecture format that introduces students to methodological and conceptual frameworks of policy evaluation; individual and team projects (especially in the first year); an internship at the end of M1 in an institution in charge of the evaluation of public policies; and a research dissertation in M2.


First Year - M1:

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The first-year M1 has a strong component of general microeconomics, macroeconomics and quantitative methods: all courses are compulsory and specifically designed to prepare the students for the analysis of policy issues.
The M1 puts a strong emphasis on quantitative methods, which encompass more than 120 hours of courses and tutorials plus 36 hours devoted to year-long projects. Students learn through projects and teamwork under the guidance of PSE professors and teaching assistants. Each tutorial and project requires many hours of studying at home. Expect to work each day, including during the week-end and the holidays. The M1 also proposes introductory courses to policy design and evaluation in major fields, complemented with conferences on a variety of policy issues by renowned academics, recognized experts and influential policy-makers.

Before school starts, you will be asked to validate exercises in Statistics and Microeconomics on a dedicated online platform using your preferred textbook. You are also advised to go through textbooks in Micro, Econometrics and Macro such as :

- Intermediate Microeconomics, H.Varian, Norton, 8th Edition (2010)
- Macroeconomics, O.J.Blanchard, Pearson, 7th Edition (2017)
- Introductory Econometrics - A modern approach, J. Wooldridge, South-Western - Cengage Learning, 5th Edition (2012)

Please make sure you organize your summer schedule accordingly.

School starts on the first week of September. Foreigners are advised to arrive earlier in Paris, so as to adjust. During the first week, you will have a welcome session, R practice class and Economic History. There are breaks in early November, end of the year and early March but you will most probably have to work. Exams take place before and after the end of the year recess and in early April. Before the exams, revision time will be limited to a few days and one week at most.
Coursework ends in April. Students head to a two-month training period or internship that takes place in an institution in charge of the design and/or the evaluation of public policies.
Examples of host institutions are the OECD, the United Nations, J-PAL, the World Bank, INSEE, DGTPE...
Each year, a few students take a gap year between M1 and M2 if they are authorized by the pedagogical committee, depending on the relevance of their project.

Second year - M2:

The second-year M2 offers in-depth and applied courses covering the most important policy issues at both, national and global levels and the state-of-the-art best practices of policy evaluation and econometrics.

Apart from two compulsory courses on Empirical methods and Public Economics and a research seminar,the curriculum is individualized. Each student chooses specialized courses in the field of Quantitative methods, Global policies, Social policies or Economic History, as well as courses taken at ENS (cognitive sciences, law, social sciences, python) or EHESS. The M2 puts a strong emphasis on research : 40% of the grade comes from the master dissertation, which the student writes under the supervision of a faculty member and presents in the weekly research seminar

Some PPD Faculty have strong links with European and French administrations such as the European Central Bank, Banque de France, the Treasury and Economic Policy General Directorate (DGTPE), and the French Statistical Institute (INSEE). In the development field, professionals from IRD/DIAL and AFD (French development agency) also teach in the program.


Career Opportunities

What are PSE students becoming once they’ve graduated from M2 ?
>> Download the synthesis “PSE Graduate Placement” (sept. 2020).

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Half of PPD students go on into a PhD program, mostly at PSE. You are encouraged to do so if you are interested by a career in academia or if you plan to get a non-academic positions for which PhD is a prerequisite. At PSE, there is no direct admission into the Doctoral training. This is the same system as in most US universities, where the first two years of PhD program are devoted to course work (and the admission into the third year is conditional on successful performance on the first two years). Thus, one can think of admissions to PSE master’s in the same way as admissions to the course-work years of a standard US-university-based PhD program.

Half of PPD students enter a professional career. 70% of them have secured a job even before the dissertation defense. They work in international organizations (the European Commission, OECD, UN agencies, WTO, etc.), development agencies (World Bank, AFD, etc.), public administration, research labs, NGOs and the private sector (banks..).