Program Director


Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell

PhD, University of Amsterdam

IAE-CSIC and Barcelona GSE

Deputy Director


Clara Ponsatí

PhD, University of Minnesota

IAE-CSIC and Barcelona GSE - on leave

The Economics of Public Policy Program provides students with the theoretical and empirical fundamentals to answer questions that impact entire populations.

How and why do particular public policies get implemented? How are they designed? How do we know if they work? Why are some policies more successful than others?

National-level finance and planning involves big numbers: pensions, health systems, income support, social programs, and so forth. Successful public policies can make all the difference for the lives of millions of individuals, with numbers and effects become much larger for developed countries and faster growing in developing ones.

Students will be drilled in commanding advanced empirical public policy evaluation tools, and will be ready to use these tools in practice.

Students will be exposed to the views of experts from fields other than Economics in order to build an appreciation for the multidisciplinary nature of public policy design and evaluation. A master's advisor will guide each student in completing an independent master's project by the end of the program, allowing specialization in a policy topic of the student's choice.

Our graduates will be prepared to take on analytical positions at public institutions, international organizations, consulting firms, research institutions, and think tanks.

Graduates will also be well-prepared to pursue advanced post-graduate study of Policy or Economics.

Program schedule: 

In the Fall term, students will have the opportunity to take a brush-up course in mathematics and statistics. This courses is not mandatory but highly recommended to assure a smooth start.

A master project, which will be supervised in regular meetings with an advisor, will allow each student to put their knowledge into practice and improve their writing and exposition skills.

Course offer is subject to change.

Fall Term: Ciutadella Campus (September - December)

All courses in the fall term are mandatory.

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Microeconomics 3 Pau Olivella
Information Economics 3 David Pérez-Castrillo
Introduction to Game Theory 3 Juan José Ganuza
Macroeconomics 3 Raúl Santaeulalia
Introduction to Economics of Public Policy Evaluation 3 Caterina Calsamiglia
Quantitative and Statistical Methods I 6 Javier Gómez Biscarri

Winter Term: Bellaterra Campus (January - March)

All courses in the winter term are mandatory.

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Economics of Labor Market Policy 3 Ana-Rute Cardoso
Political Economy 3 Hannes Mueller
Public Economics 3 Joan de Martí
Cost-Benefit Analysis 3 Pere Riera
Quantitative and Statistical Methods II 6 Joan Llull

Spring Term: Ciutadella Campus (April - June)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Master Project 6 Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell
Clara Ponsatí
Survey Methods 3 Laura Crespo
Laura Hospido
Policy Lessons 3 Albert Bravo-Biosca
Juan F. Jimeo
Electives (credits subject to director's approval):
Social Economics 3 Giacomo de Giorgi
Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell
Topics in Applied Econometrics for Public Policy 6 Jaume García-Villar

Master degree awarded

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Master Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis awarded jointly with Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

All Barcelona GSE master degrees have been recognized by the Catalan and Spanish Education authorities within the framework of the Bologna Process (in Spanish, “Master Universitario o Master Oficial”). Indicadors de qualitat

What skills and knowledge will I acquire in this program?
  • Confidence in examining and discussion of Economic theory behind the design and evaluation of public policies
  • Applied analysis in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Information Economics, Game Theory, and Political Economy
  • Command of state-of-the-art empirical tools to evaluate policies and impacts
  • Expert knowledge of institutional framework contexts where public policies are designed and implemented
  • Ability to communicate in written technical and non-technical policy reports based on multidisciplinary approaches
Who will benefit from this program?
  • Students with Business Administration, Economics, International Relations, Political Science, Public Policy, or Statistical backgrounds
  • Junior analysts or professionals from the workforce looking to upgrade their analytical skills
  • Aspiring PhD students who want to build a solid foundation
Who hires Economics of Public Policy graduates?
  • Governmental and International Agencies
  • Non-government Organizations (NGOs)
  • International Organizations
  • Pharmaceutical and Internet Industries
  • Research and Academic Institutions

Examples of recent professional placements:

  • Arthur D. Little
  • Bayer
  • BBVA Research
  • British American Tobacco
  • Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)
  • Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
  • Center for Research in Health Economics (CRES)
  • European Commission
  • Frontier Economics
  • HM Treasury
  • Innovations for Poverty in Action (IPA)
  • Institute for Democracy and Mediation Albania (IDM)
  • Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB)
  • Nominet Trust
  • Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer of Mexico (PROFECO)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Superintendence of Banking and Insurance of Ecuador (SBS)
  • United Nations
  • UK Civil Service
  • Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP)
  • World Bank
  • World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

Examples of recent PhD placements:

  • Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI)
  • European University Institute (EUI)
  • German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
  • Indiana University
  • Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • McGill University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
  • University of Cagliari
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Virginia

Download results for Economics of Public Policy 2015



Public Policy Student Profile 2016-17

  • 23 students from 18 different countries
  • Most common undergraduate degrees: Economics, Political Science
  • alumni

    Augusto Elías '17

    Originally from
    The main reason why I've decided to study in this program is because I strongly believe Economics must be at the service of people and the real solution to inequality is through inclusive public policies. Studying at BGSE means interacting and learning from people who come from the most diverse backgrounds. Sharing with students from all over the world, combined with the outstanding academic level of our professors provide us a unique environment to acquire necessary tools and knowledge to develop innovative policies destined to work towards a fairer and more sustainable economy.


EPP alumni career paths

  • 70% enter or return to the professional work forc
  • 30% continue their education in a PhD or other post-graduate program
  • Common professional industries: research, international organizations, consulting, government
  • Cities with most EPP alumni: Barcelona, London, Brussels
  • logo

    Benjamin Anderson '15

    Data Strategist
    Originally from
    Asheville, NC
    United States
    Currently living in
    Durham, NC
    United States
    The expertise in quantitative methods and economics of public policy knowledge that I gained at BGSE is essential to help bridge the communication and information gap between empirical evidence and the decision-making of practitioners. These skills enable me to develop strategies and draw conclusions with confidence when consulting with partners.
  • logo

    Yi-Ting Kuo '15

    Data Administrator
    Originally fromTaiwan
    Currently living in
    Thanks to the rigorous training at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, my approach to data administration is meticulous and analytical.
  • logo

    Aleka Pappa '14

    Junior Research Fellow / Think Tank Young Professional Development Program
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    The master program in Economics of Public Policy has been a great asset to me with its distinctive combination of a solid foundation in economic theory with the applied aspect – all accompanied by the teaching of world-class professors.
  • logo

    Sam Juthani '13

    Originally from
    United Kingdom
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    Having a tool-set that allows you to think clearly and logically through a position, and the potential pitfalls, is invaluable, and these were continually reinforced with each class that I took in the Economics of Public Policy master's program.
  • logo

    Vanessa Behrens '13

    Economics and Statistical Analysis
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    The ability to interpret scientific research papers has helped me grasp the economics of innovation and firm behavior in the context of intellectual property. The state-of-the-art econometric techniques and focus on policy issues will prove to be particularly useful when I am undertaking applied research in the near future.