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PhD in Economics


Welcome to the University of Lausanne. These pages aim to answer the questions of prospective students interested in pursuing a PhD in Economics with one of Switzerland’s most respected academic departments, the Faculty of Advanced Business and Economics or Faculté des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC). Throughout its history, the school has been regarded highly, and as a specialised faculty, we are dedicated to the development of our doctoral ventures, which we consider to play a major role in the safeguarding of our reputation.



The PhD in Economics is a well-established and recognised programme, devoted to providing rigorous training in theoretical and applied economics to students with the scientific passion and a strong methodological background. The programme covers topics at the forefront of academic research, and embraces a multifaceted approach to the aspects of economics most essential to an empirical evaluation of today’s world. In accordance with the international model used by most PhD programmes, students are encouraged to ground their individual research in the intellectual foundations of the discipline. The department achieves this by concentrating on time-honored themes; from the microeconomics of consumer choice, market structure, public economics and game theory, to the macroeconomics of consumption, business cycles, inflation, and competing models of monetary policy.


Candidates can expect to develop the analytical tools necessary to carry out economic research at the highest scientific level. They will also enter into the higher echelons of expertise in their chosen area of specialisation. These skills, being transferable yet unique, prepare students for research-based careers in academia, international organisations, or private firms. The majority of our PhD graduates take up high-ranking, analytically oriented positions in these sectors, with students who decide to pursue academic careers tending to receive placements at excellent schools around the world. With support of the Swiss National Science Foundation, many of our more scholarly-minded doctoral students spend time abroad in preparation for such a move.


The faculty represents academics from a wide array of specialisations. We currently have 20 to 25 full time staff engaged in innovative research, and their combined experience makes them some of the best-placed to supervise a wide range of research projects. Further details of their areas of interest can be found via the supervisors section. A department of our caliber is expected to produce internationally-acceptable research, and so we work with only the best library and electronic resources.


The HEC attracts students from a myriad of cultural backgrounds, and whilst most of our students already hold degrees in economics, applicants from related academic backgrounds can apply also, provided they have some solid grounding in economics. Many nationalities are represented amongst the student body, with large numbers particularly coming from Switzerland, France, Sweden, Bolivia, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Argentina. As an English-speaking, cosmopolitan school, the HEC is always looking to expand its research programme and cultural richness, thus we invite applications from all corners of the globe.


The vast majority of our PhD candidates are able to fund their studies through appointments as teaching and research assistants. This means that doctoral students can earn a salary whilst teaching and researching in their area of interest


If you have any questions that remain unanswered by these pages, or would like to arrange a visit to our school, please feel free to contact us.



Luis Santos Pinto, Dominic Rohner, and Pascal St-Amour
The Doctoral Committee for Economics
University of Lausanne


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