Thesis MSc Economics - Public Policy


Course Objective

The thesis emphasizes the creation of an original contribution that goes
clearly beyond what can be found elsewhere in the literature. Therefore,
the thesis may be seen as the final product of going through the
educational program, and it embodies the proof that the student actually
is a master in the academic discipline of economics. Whereas the final
product of the thesis is what will count eventually, important learning
elements are involved when going through the process of writing a
Specific learning outcomes are
(i) The student conducts independent academic research on a specific
question that is of substantive interest to the field of economics. The
research is conducted with the goal in mind to further economic insights
and to prepare policy conclusions by empirically testing hypotheses,
and/or building or assessing (features of) models.
(ii) The student provides a sufficiently deep and thoroughly documented,
yet focused answer to the research question. The research activities
adhere to high academic and ethical standards as set by relevant and
important contributions to the economic literature.
(iii) The student must be able to select and apply appropriate and
advanced research methods and tools for answering the research question.
Tools of economic analysis include applied statistical and econometric
methods for work using economic data, and/or tools of theoretical
economic modeling.
(iv) Students are able to write at an appropriate academic level, and at
a professional level of English. Students are able to provide an
appealing expository written presentation of results, and can orally
present their findings convincingly to both expert and non-expert
academic audiences.
(v) The student is able to put findings into a theoretical, practical
and ethical perspective. He or she is able to frankly reveal the
limitations of own work and formulate critically constructive questions
about the work of others.
(vi) The student is able to work independently under supervision, and
possess the intellectual capabilities required for self-directed
learning to broach new if related areas of scientific inquiry.

Course Content

Many skills that have been acquired and many tools of economic analysis
that have been used in classroom teaching before in the program, can and
will now be further developed and applied to good use. The student
develops and writes the thesis under close supervision of a faculty
member. The thesis is submitted in the form of an academic paper, and
results are being presented and discussed in public. Whereas the thesis
can be the result of an internship, it is judged solely on its academic

The final product may in many cases bear important similarities to a
published article in an economics journal, with a focused research
question, and data and methods that lead to an answer of that question.
Economics theses, certainly in the present program, often conclude with
policy implications (where applicable and appropriate). Originality is
encouraged, but this can be accomplished in many ways—including a
replication analysis of earlier work with a thorough and insightful

Domain: any area of economics that is compatible with the track in
Public Policy, preferably where sufficient faculty expertise for
supervision is available.

Teaching Methods

Individual supervision by faculty member.

Method of Assessment

Paper and presentation in public (single grade); subcriteria apply.

Entry Requirements

Students need to have completed course work worth at least 24 ECTS
points within our Master's, including the module "Policy Seminars and
Policy Brief"



Target Audience

Program participants MSc Economics (Public Policy track)

Additional Information

Students need to choose a suitable thesis topic within the domain of
Public Policy.

Recommended background knowledge

Introduction to Econometrics and Introduction to Microeconomics; Public
Economics and Policy.

General Information

Course Code E_EC_THSPP
Credits 18 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. S. Hochguertel
Examiner dr. S. Hochguertel
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Target audiences

This course is also available as: