Master's Degree in Specialized Economic Analysis: Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets Program

Program Director


Hugo Rodríguez Mendizábal

PhD, University of Chicago

IAE-CSIC and Barcelona GSE

Scientific Director


Albert Marcet

PhD, University of Minnesota

MOVE-UAB and Barcelona GSE

Policy-makers are often forced to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty, but the results of these decisions may directly influence a country’s overall economic performance.

While a thorough understanding of aggregate economy dynamics is necessary for success, it is not entirely sufficient. Organizations must also be knowledgeable of the many sources of aggregate risk and uncertainty, and must rely on the analytical tools available to study the aggregate economy.

Students in the Barcelona GSE Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets Program will obtain relevant knowledge about the central issues in Macroeconomic and Financial Economics analysis, as well as the key tools, data, models, and techniques now being used by public and private institutions.

Financial and consulting firms increasingly utilize complex economic theories. Students will not only learn how to use these modeling and statistical techniques, but will conduct an independent master's project to learn how to apply these new skills to real empirical work. 

Our program also offers students guest seminars and lectures by international academics and practitioners.

A closing conference will be held as an interactive forum between the academic and professional worlds. The presentation and discussion of students' applied work will be combined with expert talks covering both institutional topics as well as the presentation of original academic research.

This program covers economic models such as the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE), vector autoregression (VAR), and autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH). Our graduates are prepared with an expert grasp of aggregate economy and financial function fundamentals, able to build macroeconomic and market forecasts - skills that consulting firms, investment banks, and government agencies are all in need of.

Program schedule: 

The course offer displayed is for the current academic year (2020-21). Course offer is subject to change.

Given the applied, quantitative nature of this program, students will need to furnish their own laptop computer.

  • In the first Term, all Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets Program students are required to take a mathematics, statistics, and computer tools brush-up course.
  • In the second term, students will have the opportunity to take a course in Text mining and web scraping with R. This course is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
  • 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.
  • By the end of the program, students must complete 60 ECTS (a total of 6 mandatory courses and 9 elective courses)

A limited number of places will be available to practitioners who would like to enroll in specific courses.

Term 1 (September - December)

Students will begin with the necessary general background in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and statistics. These courses will review the fundamental macro models that are commonly used in policy evaluation and quantitative work, and will discuss important concepts and analysis tools in modern equilibrium theory.

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory courses:
Macroeconomics 6 Francesc Obiols
Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis
Foundations in Equilibrium Analysis 6 Esther Hauk
Christopher Busch
Quantitative and Statistical Methods I 6 Maite Cabeza
Pau Milan
Elective courses (choose from 0 to 3 ECTS):
Computational Methods 3 Michael Reiter

Term 2 (January - March)

Course work will progressively focuses on tools that are relevant for the study of macro policy and financial markets. Students will looking at models of financial economics, applied finance, applied macroeconomics, growth, computational methods, and time series analysis. This engages work on theoretical developments simultaneously with the necessary quantitative techniques to evaluate them.

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory courses:
Quantitative and Statistical Methods II 6

Luca Gambetti

Elective courses (choose from 9 to 15 ECTS):
Financial Economics 3 Jordi Caballé

Macroeconomics of Labor Markets

3 Javier Fernández-Blanco
Regulation in Financial Markets 3 Eudald Canadell
Fiscal Policy 3 Luis Rojas
Foundations of Data Science 3 Omiros Papaspiliopoulos (TBD)

Term 3 (April - June)

Students will concentrate on monetary and fiscal policy using specific models, and will continue acquiring expertise in quantitative methods. Students will also submit a final paper on financial regulation.

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory courses:
Master Project 6 Hugo Rodríguez Mendizábal
Christopher Busch
Luis Rojas
Luca Gambetti
Policy LessonsPolicy Lessons are shared by all programs in the Master's in Specialized Economic Analysis. Students must choose two Policy Lessons among those organized by any of the programs (Competition, EPP, ITFD, and Macro) 3 Gabriel Perez Quirós
Joachim Jungherr
Elective courses (choose from 9 to 15 ECTS):
Monetary Policy 3 Davide Debortoli
Empirical Finance 3

Abhay Abhyankar
Pedro García Ares

Panel Data and Duration Models 3

Joan Llull

Advanced Time Series


Marek Jarocinski 
Gabriel Perez Quirós

Machine Learning for Finance* 3 Argimiro Arratia (TBD)

*Prerequisite: "Foundations of Data Science" 

Presentations by professionals

The Macro Program brings leading practitioners to campus to speak exclusively to Barcelona GSE students. Speakers include:

speakerRafael Domènech
Head of Macroeconomic Analysis, BBVA Research
Rafael Doménech is Head of Macroeconomic Analysis of BBVA Research and Professor of Economics at the University of Valencia. He holds an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. He was Director General at the Economic Bureau of the Spanish Prime Minister (2007-8). He was also appointed by the Spanish Government as a member of the Expert Committee on the Sustainability Factor of the Public Pension System. He has published numerous articles in well-known international scientific journals on economic growth, human capital, business cycles, and fiscal and monetary policies. His most recent book on the Spanish economy, titled En Busca de la Prosperidad, was jointly written with Javier Andrés.

speakerAtanas Kolev
Senior Economist, European Investment Bank
Atanas Kolev is a Senior Economist at the Economics Department of the EIB. He joined the EIB in 2005 and over the years has worked on a wide range of topics related to investment and investment financing at the firm-, sector- and economy-wide level. He has been an organizer and contributor to the annual economics conference of the EIB on topics such as investment in the energy sector, in adaptation to climate change, public investment and infrastructure investment. Over the past two years, he has been economic editor of the EIB’s Economics department flagship publication on investment and investment finance. He holds a PhD in Economics from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

speakerApurva Sanghi
Lead Economist for the Russian Federation, The World Bank
Apurva Sanghi is Acting Country Director for the Russian Federation (since August 2019), and Lead Economist for the Russian Federation, based in Moscow. Prior to that, he was based in Nairobi, Kenya as the Lead Economist for Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Eritrea. Before Kenya, Apurva was based in Washington DC where he led the Economic Growth Cluster of the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department. He is a selective commentator on economic issues with views expressed in the pages of major international media outlets such as the Financial Times; the Economist; Project Syndicate, and popular blog sites such as the World Bank’s and Brookings. Apurva holds college degrees in physics and economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a PhD from the University of Chicago, where his core training was in growth and macroeconomics.

Master's degree awarded

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

All Barcelona GSE Master's 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”).

Quality indicators

What skills and knowledge will I acquire in this program?
  • Deep knowledge of the economic theory behind macroeconomic models of financial markets
  • Comprehension of the dynamics affecting financial and policy-oriented decision-making
  • Numerical methods and simulation techniques applied to quantitative macroeconomics, policy design, and evaluation
  • Precise econometric techniques required for a state-of-the-art applied analysis
  • Ability to create and deliver technical and executive reports and publicly communicate and discuss research work
Who will benefit from this program?
  • Graduates in Economics, Business Administration, and Engineering
  • Junior analysts and other professionals at central banks and public institutions seeking to improve their profile
  • Prospective PhD students looking for a solid master's program in Economics

Student profile in more detail

Who hires Macro graduates?
  • Consulting Firms
  • Financial Services
  • Government & Authorities
  • International Organizations / Non-profits
  • Research & Academic Institutions
  • Other Industries

Examples of recent placements:

  • Accenture AG − Consultant − Zurich, Switzerland
  • AIREF − Research Assistant − Madrid, Spain
  • Australian Federal Treasury − Analyst − Canberra, Australia
  • Bank of England − Economist − London, United Kingdom
  • Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI) − PhD Student − Madrid, Spain
  • CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis − Macroeconomist − Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • European Central Bank − Trainee in the DG Monetary Policy − Frankfurt, Germany
  • European Investment Bank (EIB) − Intern in the Economic Department − Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • OECD − Traineeship − Paris, France
  • Roland Berger − Research Specialist − Kiev, Ukraine
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) − PhD Student − Barcelona, Spain
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) − PhD Student − Barcelona, Spain
  • World Bank − Consultant − Washington, USA
  • World Trade Organisation (WTO) − Intern − Geneva, Switzerland

Alumni career paths in more detail



Macro Student Profile 2020-21

19 students from 12 countries (68% international)

Most represented countries in this year's Macro cohort:

  • Spain (6)
  • Germany (3)

One student each from China, Colombia, France, Iceland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania

Most common academic backgrounds:

  • Economics and Finance


Macro alumni career paths

An overview of Macro career paths for recent cohorts

  • Many Macro alumni (79%) enter or return to the professional work force
    21% continue their education in a PhD or other post-graduate program
  • Most common industries:
    Financial Services, Government and Authorities, International Organizations
  • Cities with most Macro alumni:
    Frankfurt, Barcelona, London, Paris, Santo Domingo
  • alumni

    Carola Ebert '16

    Originally from
    Currently living in
    In my opinion, the most important message you send when successfully completing this degree is that you are able to basically take up any challenge coming your way. It does sound kind of cheesy, but it is really the way you feel after graduation. This degree certifies your ability to work under pressure, to get familiar with very different and challenging topics in a short amount of time, to work in and adapt yourself to different groups and on top of all that you have a general technical aptitude. All these skills are important selling points when it comes to applying to any potential employers.
  • alumni

    Charles de Beauffort '14

    Macroeconomic Trainee
    Originally fromBelgium
    Currently living inLuxembourg
    One thing I enjoy as an economic trainee at the EIB is working on topics directly related to what I have learnt at the BGSE. Sharing outlooks with knowledgeable economists from all around Europe makes it a truly unique experience.
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    Manuel Muñoz '13

    Head of Service
    Originally from
    Currently living in
    The master's has prepared me both directly and indirectly: directly, through courses such as Financial Economics, Empirical Finance, Banking and Financial Fragility, and Regulation in Financial Markets; and indirectly, by teaching me how to shape the right mindset in order to successfully approach economic and financial problems.
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    Ivanna Echegoyen '13

    Originally from
    Currently living inUruguay
    I chose Barcelona GSE for being a highly recognized school offering rigorous programs that provide a strong combination of theoretical and practical knowledge. I was also motivated by first hand experiences from Barcelona GSE alumni who were fully satisfied with the quality of their courses and their usefulness for their professional careers.