Master's Degree in Economics and Finance: Economics Program

Program Director


Marta Reynal-Querol

PhD, London School of Economics

ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE

Deputy Director


Eulàlia Nualart

PhD (Probability Theory), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

UPF and Barcelona GSE

The Barcelona GSE Economics Program provides students with rigorous training for admission to top doctoral programs and for technically demanding careers.

Students who complete this program will acquire an excellent grounding and deep understanding of the field's foundations, applications, and policies covering theoretical and empirical approaches. 

Students will perform technically demanding analyses using powerful analytical and quantitative tools, and will design and conduct an independent master's project.

The Economics Program course listing is broad enough to offer students specialized training in a number of areas: 

  • Macroeconomics with a focus on monetary and fiscal policy
  • Labor and public economics
  • International economics
  • Development economics
  • Business and market organization
  • Behavioral and experimental economics
  • Financial economics

The Economics Program is the main gateway for admission to the PhD Track of the Graduate Program in Economics, Finance and Management (GPEFM) at UPF. 

More than half of our Economics alumni continue their education through GPEFM or in another PhD or graduate program at prestigious schools around the world. Alumni who choose a professional career path are regularly hired by governmental agencies, international banking, consulting and research firms.

Program schedule: 

In the Fall term, students are required to take the following brush-up courses:

During the Fall term, students may choose between advanced or standard core courses, depending on their background and their interest in pursuing a PhD program. Advanced courses will be required for students who wish to be considered for admission to the GPEFM PhD program at UPF. 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 (September - December)

Students may choose between advanced or standard courses (18 credits):

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Advanced Econometric Methods I 6 Geert Mesters
Advanced Macroeconomics I 6 David Nagy
Jaume Ventura
Advanced Microeconomics I 6 Larbi Alaoui
Econometric Methods I 6 Geert Mesters
Macroeconomics I 6 Manuel García-Santana
Microeconomics I 6 Joan de Martí


Winter Term (January - March)

Students may choose between the following courses (18 credits):

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Advanced Econometric Methods II 6 Albrecht Glitz
Enrique Sentana
Advanced Macroeconomics II 6 Isaac Baley
Edouard Schaal
Advanced Microeconomics II 6 Antonio Penta
Macroeconomics II 6 Danilo Guaitoli
Luca Fornaro
Microeconomics II 6 Joan de Martí
Econometric Methods II 6 Albrecht Glitz
Alessandro Tarozzi
Development Economics 6 Gianmarco León
Alessandro Tarozzi
Political Economy 6 Maria Petrova
Ruben Durante
Topics in Macroeconomics II: International Finance* 3 Fernando Broner
Topics in Macroeconomics IV: Agglomeration and Economic Geography* 3 David Nagy
Giacomo Ponzetto
Topics in Macroeconomics VI: Cities and the Geography of Growth * 3 David Nagy
Giacomo Ponzetto
Topics in Applied Economics I: Effects of Early Interventions on Human Capital Development * 3 Libertad González
Topics in Applied Economics II: Public Economics * 3 Ruben Durante

*Courses offered by the MRes-UPF (subject to specific course requirements and schedules permitting)

Spring Term (April - June)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Master Project 6 TBA
Choose 18 credits from the following courses:
Advanced Econometric Methods III 6 Ana María Herrera
Advanced Macroeconomics III 6 Vladimir Asriyan
Jordi Galí
Advanced Microeconomics III 6 Alexander Frug
Experimental Economics 6 Rosemarie Nagel
Choice in Context: Research Perspectives 6 Gaël Le Mens 
Gert Cornelissen
Mircea Epure
Daniel Navarro-Martinez
Helena Ramalhinho
Econometric Methods III 6 TBA
Industrial Organization 6 Rosa Ferrer
Christian Michel 
Sandro Shelegia
Behavioral Decision Making 6 Daniel Navarro
Topics in Economic Growth and Development 3 Luigi Pascali
Topics in Macroeconomics III: International Macroeconomics* 3 Luca Fornaro
Topics in Macroeconomics V: Finance, Firm Dynamics and Aggregate Outcomes * 3 Andrea Caggese
Topics in Macroeconomics VII: Globalization, Economic Policy and Political Structure * 3 Jaume Ventura
Topics in Applied Economics III: Labor Economics I* 3 Joan Monràs
Topics in Applied Economics IV: Labor Economics II* 3 Joan Monràs
Topics in Applied Economics V: Public Economics II* 3 Ruben Durante
Topics in Applied Economics VI: Economics of Information* 3 Maria Petrova
Empirical Corporate Finance 3 Filippo Ippolito
Javier Gómez Biscarri

*Courses offered by the MRes-UPF (subject to specific course requirements and schedules permitting)

Master degree awarded

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Master Degree in Economics and Finance awarded jointly with 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?
  • Solid command of analytical and quantitative Economics
  • Knowledge of a wide range of specializations in different fields of economics
  • Competence in both theoretical and empirical approaches, from foundation to application and policy
  • Expert subject knowledge in writing and discussion of graduate-level economics
  • Facility with tools necessary to successfully pursue a top PhD in economics
Who will benefit from this program?
  • Graduate students in economics, mathematics, or engineering
  • Aspiring PhD students looking for a rigorous master program in economics
  • Junior analysts or professionals from the workforce looking for a postgraduate degree with advanced tools in quantitative economics
How can I enter the PhD track from the Economics program?

Admission to the UPF PhD Program (GPEFM) from the Barcelona GSE Economic Program

The UPF Graduate Program in Economics, Finance and Management (GPEFM) is one of two doctoral programs organized jointly by the Barcelona GSE.

As a general procedure, Barcelona GSE Master in Economics students who want to be considered for the GPEFM should take the advanced track during the first term of the Economics Program. Admission to the UPF PhD program (GPEFM) will be decided at the beginning of January and admitted students are required to follow the Advanced Courses Sequence for the rest of the year. The GRE is highly recommended for those applicants who want to be considered for the UPF PhD program.

If my background is not strong enough to follow the three advanced courses, can I still apply for the UPF PhD? 

A limited number of places for the GPEFM will be available for those excellent students that were not able to take the advanced course in the first term because of lack of strong enough background in Economics. These admissions will be decided at the beginning of January. These students can apply to the Master in Research of the UPF Economics Department and once admitted follow a special track. Final admission of these students to the PhD will be decided at the end of the first term of the Master in Research, and will depend on performance in the Advanced Courses.

Which other PhD programs have Economics graduates attended?

Barcelona GSE master's graduates have gone on to enter some of the most prestigious and competitive doctoral programs in the world, including:

  • Bocconi University
  • Boston University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • European University Institute (EUI)
  • Harvard University
  • London School of Economics (LSE)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Northwestern University
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Université Catholique de Louvain
  • University College London
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Rome "La Sapienza"
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Warwick
  • Wharton - University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University

See a more complete list of PhD programs

Who hires Economics graduates?
  • Research and Academic Institutions
  • Consulting Firms
  • Financial Services
  • International Organizations
  • Government and Authorities

Examples of recent Economics placements:

  • Columbia University - Research Assistant (New York, NY, USA)
  • European Central Bank (ECB) - Macro Department Trainee (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • European Investment Bank (EIB) - Graduate Program, Risk Managment (Luxembourg)
  • Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, DC - Research Associate (USA)
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) - Regional Economic and Social Analysis Intern International (Bangkok, Thailand)
  • McKinsey & Company - Consultant (Berlin, Germany)
  • Morgan Stanley - Investment Banking Analyst (Hong Kong)
  • Nera Economic Consulting - Research Officer (London, UK)
  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI) - ODI Fellowship (several locations world-wide)
  • World Bank - Financial Analyst, Finance and Markets Department (Washington, DC, USA)

Download first placement results for recent Economics graduates



Economics Student Profile 2018-19

77 students from 31 countries (81% international)

Most represented countries this year: 

  • Spain (15)
  • United Kingdom (8)
  • China (5)
  • United States (5)

Most common undergraduate backgrounds:

Economics and Finance



Economics alumni career paths

An overview of Economics career paths for recent cohorts (Class of 2015, 2016, 2017)

  • More than half (57%) continue their studies in a PhD or other advanced program
  • Most common professional industries:
    Research and Academic Institutions, Financial Services
  • Cities with the most Economics alumni:
    Barcelona, London, Frankfurt, New York, Brussels, Washington
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    Martin Aragoneses '15

    Research Assistant
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    Cambridge, MA
    United States
    A month after I started working for Prof. Finkelstein, she sent me to the field to get a better understanding of the interventions we are studying...Seeing the people we were helping out with our program and hearing their testimonials was really touching. It reassured me why I want to do empirical research for a living!
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    Jennifer Köhler '15

    Graduate Student, LSE
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    The Economics Program at Barcelona GSE has provided a great foundation for my MRes/PhD work. I highly value the rigorous training in quantitative methods, which has proved essential for my own research, as well as the input from all the teachers and professors. In fact, my PhD topic is based on an idea I had for a project at Barcelona GSE, and I am very grateful for all the support I have received for it.
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    Kryštof Krotil '14

    Originally from
    Czech Republic
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    From the first week I joined RBB Economics, I have been working on a multibillion dollar merger of two major orthopaedic companies. Until now I have spent most of the time with clients’ transaction data, working mainly on switching analysis, the purpose of which was to determine closeness of competition between the merging parties.
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    Matias Antonio '13

    Junior Professional Associate
    Originally from
    Santiago del Estero
    Currently living in
    Washington, DC
    United States
    My responsibilities in the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Policy area range across pretty much all macroeconomic subjects that are related to policy. One of the projects I am working on right now is macroeconomic monitoring. For this project, I produce a bi-weekly briefing on the current situation across the continents. I am also linked to the El Salvador economic team, so I go on missions to assess the economic situation. All of the Economics master courses at Barcelona GSE are useful for this type of work. The ideas behind the models we studied provide a strong conceptual framework that helps guide policy and tells us where to look for vulnerabilities in the economy.
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    Master Program in Economics

    Marcos Casarin '12

    Originally from
    Rio de Janeiro -
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    After working with applied macroeconomics, I can say that all the theory I learnt at Barcelona GSE has provided me with the ability to produce high-quality economic analysis in the real world.
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    Gergely Ganics '12

    Originally from
    Currently living in
    BGSE and UPF are both well-known for cutting-edge research in macroeconomics, and given that I always liked statistics and econometrics in addition to macro, I was very happy when I was given the opportunity to study here. Also, Barcelona is an absolutely amazing place to study and live. Faculty and staff at both BGSE and UPF have always been very helpful and supportive, and they provided me with everything to focus on research.
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    Angelo Martelli '11

    PhD Candidate
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    United Kingdom
    The BGSE Economics master was certainly one of the most challenging years in my life. It was a tough reminder that nothing comes as a gift and that the initial difficulties can be overcome only through hard work and long hours. The BGSE lecturers' experience empowered my framing of the economic concepts, while the toolkit I acquired and its continuous refinement enabled me to discern the real essence of each model. With its rigorous curriculum, the BGSE master was a fast track to the frontier of Economics and definitely set me apart when I joined the PhD program at the LSE.
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    Patricia Gómez-González '09

    Assistant Professor
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    New York, NY
    United States
    The year at the Barcelona GSE influenced my career a lot. My research interests are close to many of the topics that researchers at the Barcelona GSE work on and related to several classes I took during the master. During the master program, I was introduced to many of the modeling techniques I currently use for my research. I am still in touch with several of my professors of that year and talk to some of them about my work.