International Economics

Policy-relevant economic research and training for a better world.

International Economics at the Graduate Institute, Geneva

Welcome to the Department of International Economics.

Our strengths lie in macroeconomics and finance, development economics, and trade and environmental economics.  The Department offers a master programme in International Economics with specialisations in International Finance, Development Economics and International Trade. We also offer two PhD programmes: one in International Economics, the other in Development Economics. 

Studying Economics at the Graduate Institute


Unique Programmes

  • The Department of International Economics offers a unique set of programmes in economics. The admissions process is highly selective and is based on a detailed application package, which includes the GRE. 
  • Each year, we admit roughly 20 candidates to our Master in International Economics.
  • Strong candidates with two-year master's degrees in economics should consider applying directly to the PhD in International Economics or the PhD in Development Economics.  On average the two PhD programmes admit a combined total of 12 students each year.

Rigorous, Policy-relevant Training

  • The Department looks for applicants of exceptional academic merit, but also seeks individuals who are enthusiastic about economics and want to use their training to make the world a better place.
  • Besides compulsory courses in micro, macro and econometrics, students can choose amongst a wide range of electives in economics and other disciplines.
  • Our students are known for their rigorous training and are highly sought-after by employers in international organisations, the private sector, policy institutions and academia.  
  • Placement of our PhDs is remarkable for a department of our size.

Internationally-known Faculty in a Small Department 

  • Our professors are internationally-known researchers who are not afraid of actively participating in current policy debates, writing OpEd pieces or advising national governments and international organisations.
  • In the latest Repec rankings, we placed third in Switzerland (out of a total of 119 registered institutions), just behind Zurich and the Bank for International Settlements.  And remember that the Department only counts 12 full-time professors.
  • On average, our entering classes are drawn from 20 different nationalities. Classes are small and interaction between students and faculty is easy.

A Cosmopolitan Environment

  • Geneva is home to dozens of international organisations, NGOs and a dynamic financial sector, providing an attractive variety of internships and employment opportunities. Our Career Services provide information on such placements. Economists from institutions such as the WTO often teach in the Department.
  • Students can take classes at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne. PhD students can participate in high-level courses given by renowned economists at the Swiss National Bank's Gerzensee Study Center. Admission to this programme is competitive.
Research & Publication

Working Papers

Access to all Working Papers of our Faculty Members
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International Economics - Student Placement after Graduation

Master Students Placement after Graduation


Data collected since 2008 shows that after graduation, International Economics master students have been employed in all four sectors:

  • The favourite sector is the private one, attracting 37% of our students, from which more than one-third work in banking, finance and insurance organisations.
  • The public sector attracted 32% of our alumni from which almost three-quarters work in international organisations and approximately one-quarter work for foreign governments and the federal administration of Switzerland.
  • The voluntary sector accounts for 17% of our graduates, our alumni being recruited mainly within NGOs and think tanks.
  • 14% of our master graduates either continued their studies towards a PhD or conducted research work as part of an academic institution.
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PhD Students Placement after Graduation

Information gathered since 2008 shows that after graduation the PhD students studying in the International Economics Department have been employed in all four sectors:

  • The public sector is the most popular attracting 62% of our alumni, from which almost three-quarters work in international organisations.
  • The academic sector attracted 21% of our graduates, the majority conducting research work as part of an academic institution.
  • The private sector accounted for 8.5% of our PhD graduates, most of them working in banking, finance and insurance organisations.
  • The third sector attracted 8.5% of our graduates with approximately three-quarters working for NGOs.
Department Seminar Series, Brown Bag Lunch, the Geneva Trade and Development Workshop.


We organise seminars, lectures and academic conferences where eminent academics and policymakers present their research. We also regularly hold events tailored towards getting our PhD students ready for the job market.

Upcoming events

Contact us


Jean-Louis Arcand


Prof. Jean-Louis Arcand | Head of the Department
Phone: +41 22 908 59 45

Office: P1-666

The Head of the Department sets the strategic direction of the curricula and is responsible for coordinating the overall academic content.



Zoya Anastassova


Zoya Anastassova | Department Manager
Phone: +41 908 59 59

The Departmental Manager supports the efforts of the Head of Department in the successful coordination of the department.

Mailing Address

International Economics
Maison de la paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2A
Case Postale 1672
CH-1211 Genève 1


Access: The Maison de la paix is located at Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2A, on the corner of Avenue de France. You may take tram 15 until the Maison de la paix stop or, alternatively, walk a few minutes from the stop at Place des Nations.