Evidence-Based Economics Research Program, Germany

Deadline: 30 April 2013
Open to: candidates with a Master’s degree in economics and a solid knowledge in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics
Fellowship: 75% TV-L E13, meaning ca. 1500€ net of taxes and social security dependent on personal circumstances. Students will be employees of the Free State of Bavaria, Germany, and covered by the mandatory social security in Germany.


Successful economic policy requires a solid understanding of the causal effects of policy interventions. The research program of Evidence-Based Economics (EBE) aims to apply and further develop these methods in order to better understand the mechanisms that govern economic decision making and to properly evaluate the costs and benefits of policy interventions.

EBE combines methods that traditionally have been taught and applied separately. It takes the position that any experimental or empirical investigation must be based on a solid theoretical foundation. The aim of the graduate program is to provide doctoral students with the diverse methodological skills required to perform innovative, state-of-the art economics research within the EBE research agenda, and to apply these skills to important real-world problems. The ultimate goal is to train doctoral students so that they can work at the frontier of theory-guided, evidence-based economics.

The specific aims are:

  • To provide students with a firm basis in modern economic theory.
  • To train students thoroughly in empirical methods – from established ones to more recent developments in econometrics, and the design of laboratory and field experiments as well as surveys.
  • To raise awareness for public policy concerns and implications for real-world economic decisions – no training to do l’art pour l’art!
  • To enable students to successfully apply for positions at the postdoctoral or assistant professor levels at leading international research universities (i.e., to succeed on the international academic “job market”), or for top career positions outside the academic sector, both in public administration and private firms.

In total, a cohort of 20 students will form the graduate program “Evidence-Based Economics”. While funding for 10 of them comes from the Elite Network of Bavaria, they will admit up to 10 additional students, funded from other sources such as positions at the core faculty members’ chairs, who meet the same strict entry standards as those students who obtain graduate program-funded positions.


Students will receive positions (75% TV-L E13, meaning ca. 1500€ net of taxes and social security dependent on personal circumstances). Students will be employees of the Free State of Bavaria, Germany, and covered by the mandatory social security in Germany, i.e. health insurance, unemployment insurance, retirement insurance, and superannuation scheme of German retirement fund for federal and state employees (for the latter an application for exemption is possible).

Moreover, the graduate program has ample resources to provide:

  • Travel support for conferences, exchange visits, and summer schools
  • Seed funding for research studies
  • Support for language courses, specific affirmative action activities, and presentation, communication, and soft skill courses.
  • Funding for services of professional language lectors.

Read more about the funding HERE.


The standard entry requirement is a completed Master’s degree in economics. They expect a solid knowledge in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics at the level of a first-year graduate program at a leading research university. Applications from students with outstanding Bachelor degrees are considered as well in special circumstances.


The application process is open until April 30, 2013 via an online application tool AVAILABLE HERE. Before applying, please read the information provided in the Application Procedure section.

You will need to submit the following documents (in Pdf-format):

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of motivation: Please provide a statement explaining your current goals, career plans and reasons for being interested in the graduate program in Evidence Based Economics. Discuss your study plans and your fields of interest. Your statement should be in English and not exceed 500 words.
  • Certificate of secondary education (e.g. German Abitur)
  • Bachelor’s diploma and transcript of records
  • Master’s diploma and transcript of records

Please contact the organizers with your questions at ebe@vwl.lmu.de. For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions page HERE and the official call for applications HERE.

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