Economics concentration

"We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Archibald Wheeler.

The ESSEC PhD program in Economics offers a strong foundation in economic theory and equips doctoral students with the analytical and statistical tools needed for top-quality research. In a unique collaboration, this program is jointly administered by the department of economics in ESSEC and THEMA research center in CY Cergy Paris Université, a renowned institution in France for its expertise in the field of economics.

Our program is designed to develop a range of essential skills, including a deep understanding of economic theory and analysis, the ability to create advanced models using the highest scientific standards, and expertise in data analysis through state-of-the-art econometric methods and tools.

In the first two trimesters of the program, doctoral students engage in standard coursework designed for the first year of an economics PhD program. This coursework includes classes in the core areas of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Additionally, students have the opportunity to explore elective courses in specializations such as industrial organization, international economics, public policy, and environmental economics. During the third trimester of their first year, students focus on completing a thesis under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Upon successfully finishing their first year, students receive a Master's degree in economics (M2 in the French system) from ESSEC and CY Cergy Paris Université.

For more information on the first-year courses, please visit: First-Year Course Details.

In their second year, after taking advanced core courses and passing the preliminary exams in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, PhD students continue with elective courses tailored to their chosen specializations. The third year marks the beginning of an intensive research phase for the PhD candidates. It commences with the presentation of a thesis proposal before a jury comprising their thesis advisor and other faculty members. This period is dedicated to in-depth research, ultimately leading to the completion and defense of their PhD theses, marking the culmination of their doctoral journey. After completing all requirements of the program, a candidate receives a PhD degree from ESSEC Business School and a French doctorate from the joint doctoral school of ESSEC and CY Cergy Paris Université.

ESSEC Business School offers full-tuition scholarships and a tax-free stipend covering living expenses for the first four years of the program. This financing can be extended for an additional year in the form of an associate lecturer contract.

Specializations include

  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics
  • Public Policy
  • Environmental Economics

The department of economics in ESSEC is affiliated with THEMA research center in economics and management science, which is a partnership involving the CY Cergy Paris Université and the prestigious French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).


Our esteemed ESSEC faculty members are renowned for their diverse areas of expertise in economic research, covering microeconomics, macroeconomics, industrial organization, international trade and finance, experimental economics, health economics, development, and game theory. They consistently contribute to the academic community by publishing articles in highly respected scholarly journals, as well as authoring books, chapters, and economic reports. ESSEC professors maintain a global presence by engaging in collaborative research with colleagues from around the world, actively participating in academic conferences, and serving as board members for international academic journals.

Queen Mary University, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, London School of Economics, Bocconi University, Paris School of Business, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, European Central Bank, University of Luxembourg, National Bank of Korea, Shandong University, Zhongnan University, Korea Development Institute, CBN Research Institute, Shanghai, The Bank of Israel.