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Translate research results into policy recommendations. This study programme emphasises statistical techniques to analyse and answer contemporary real-world societal and economic problems. You will specialise in applied research using causal inference techniques: from setting up a research project and carrying out empirical research, to presenting your recommendations to others. You will become fluent in applying statistical techniques to conduct causal inference in this track.

The programme

Econometrics and Policy Analysis is one of the tracks of the Master's Econometrics. During your Master's you will follow 4 general courses and 5 track-specific courses and electives. You will finish with a thesis.

  • Compulsory courses

    Advanced Econometrics I

    In this course, you will gain a deep understanding of econometric theory, practice and inference. You will learn how to apply advanced econometric techniques in practice, extend available methods for particular applications and how to implement them in a matrix programming environment. Also, you will learn to understand and derive their statistical properties.

    Theory of Markets

    In this course, you will study the microeconomic theory of perfect and imperfect competition. Learn under what conditions markets perform well as a means to organise economic activity (and under what conditions they do not).

    Data Science Methods

    In this course, you will cover the basic theory of multivariate data analysis and of statistical methods in data science. You will focus on the most relevant multivariate techniques, as well as their application to econometric data in computer lab sessions. We will introduce you to Python, NumPy and pandas, data scraping, cleaning and wrangling.

    Advanced Econometrics II

    In this course, you will build upon the general knowledge you acquired in Advanced Econometrics 1. You will gain a deep understanding of econometric theory, acquire the technical skills to conduct inference and be able to implement these techniques using software like MATLAB, R or Python.

  • Track-specific courses

    Health Econometrics: Empirical Research

    Based on key concepts and major topics in health economics, this course focuses on the potential outcomes framework, which is helpful for estimating and interpreting treatment effects. Moreover, you will be asked to critically assess the strengths and limitations of research designs and empirical papers in health economics. Finally, you will apply the techniques during the computer lab sessions with R and STATA.

    Environmental Econometrics: Empirical Research

    In this course, you learn to build identification strategies to identify the effect of interest given a specific context and data availability constraints. In addition, you will learn how to improve environmental policy design in applied empirical research. During the computer lab sessions, you will replicate empirical results reported in seminal papers, and you are asked to critically reflect on the policy recommendations.


    This course surveys some of the recent developments in macroeconometrics based on a set of modern time series and panel data methods for empirical research. Specific econometric topics will be introduced and their main elements will be outlined. Finally, key empirical papers applying those methods will be discussed critically. Using assignments, you will be asked to address particular research questions and discuss the policy implications of your findings.

    Mandatory electives: semester 1

    Choose 1 out of 2 electives:

    • Machine Learning for Econometrics
    • CED1: Learning, Stability and Chaos

    Mandatory electives: semester 2

    Choose 1 out of 4 electives:

    • Economic and Financial Network Analysis
    • Behavioural Macro and Finance
    • Topics in Microeconometrics
    • Financial Econometrics
  • Thesis

    The academic programme culminates in a thesis, which allows you to engage with state-of-the-art data analysis and statistical techniques. The Master's thesis is the final requirement for your graduation. It is your chance to dive deep into a topic in your field of choice (track) that you are enthusiastic about and allows you to do an independent research project. A professor of your track will supervise and support you in writing your thesis.

  • Honours programme

    If you are a student of the Master's Econometrics and you have a record of academic excellence, a critical mind and an enthusiasm for applied research, then our Econometrics Honours programme is a great opportunity for you.

  • Double Degree Master's programme

    If you want to pursue a Master’s degree in Econometrics as well as in Mathematics, you can opt for one of our Double Degree Master’s programmes:

    • Master's in Double Degree Programme in Econometrics and Mathematics. In combination with all specialisations of the Master's in Econometrics.
    • Double Degree Master's programme Econometrics and Stochastics and Financial Mathematics. Only in combination with the specialisation Financial Econometrics of the Master's in Econometrics.
Real-life case: The gender gap in educational performance

What is the contribution of prenatal testosterone in explaining gender differences in educational performance? To identify this effect, a biological natural experiment can be used. The female half of an opposite-sex twin pair is exposed to a higher dose of prenatal testosterone than females in same-sex twin pairs. However, any difference in test scores resulting from having a same-sex or opposite-sex sibling could also result from the socialisation effect of growing up with a brother or sister. To control for socialisation, the test scores of close siblings are used as a control group. 

Frequently asked questions
  • When do I need to select a specialisation track?

    A specialisation track must be chosen when applying for the Master’s programme. However, track modifications are still possible until late October. The criteria for all tracks are identical and do not impact the likelihood of being accepted into the programme.

  • How many students are in the programme?

    Our Master’s programme admits around 20 students per specialisation track. If you meet the entry requirements, you will always be accepted; this Master’s does not have a numerus fixus.

  • What are the weekly contact hours?

    Most courses have one 2-3 hour lecture and one 2-hour tutorial per week. Generally students take 3 courses at a time, so count on about 12-15 contact hours per week.

  • Will all lectures be held in person, or will there be options for online attendance?

    Our preference is for in-person lectures. Certain sessions may be pre-recorded or follow a hybrid format. This entails preparing for Question and Answer (Q&A) sessions through video clips and readings, with subsequent online discussions during meetings.

  • Is attendance compulsory for lectures, tutorials, and other sessions?

    Attendance is usually not compulsory for lectures, but commonly for tutorials and other sessions. Students greatly benefit from being present and engaging in discussions with both the instructor and their classmates.

  • What is the typical method of assessment for most courses?

    The majority of courses have a written on-site exam, which counts for a large percentage of the final grade. Most courses have additional assessment methods, including oral presentations, developing research proposals, conducting experiments and writing up results. Finally, some courses grade attendance, which is reflected by presence and activity in tutorials and online assignments.