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Graduate Center Program

Graduate Center Program Structure

DIW Graduate Center offers a five-year program of in-depth training in economics. You will go through a high-level coursework curriculum and receive on-the-job training in DIW Berlin’s research departments. Once completing the program, you will obtain a PhD from one of Berlin’s universities.

© DIW Berlin

First Year

During winter term of the first year, doctoral students will take the following core courses:

  • Preparatory Math Course

The Preparatory Math Course provides the general background in mathematics and statistics necessary for the first year courses and for research related work in economics in general. It is aimed to give a brief overview of the main concepts and methods used in economics research. Topics include calculus, analysis, matrix algebra, probability, statistics and others.

Textbooks: Chiang & Wainwright (2005), De la Fuente (2000), Hamilton (1994, Appendix), Judge, Hill, Griths, Lutkepohl & Lee (1988), Lucas, Stokey & Prescott (1989, Chapter 3), Mas-Colell, Whinston & Green, (1995, Appendix), Simon & Blume (1994)

  • Advanced Microeconomics

Advanced Microeconomics deepens modern duality concepts in the analysis of consumer and producer behavior and welfare economics as well as many game theoretic concepts and links them to market analysis (incomplete competition), market design (auctions), markets under incomplete information (moral hazard, adverse selection), and elaborates on microeconomic decision theory (dynamic programming, decision under uncertainty, etc.).

Textbook: Mas-Colell, A., M. Whinston and J. Green, "Microeconomic Theory"

  • Econometrics I

Econometrics I Part I covers commonly used estimation techniques, such as Ordinary Least Squares, Maximum Likelihood, Generalized Least Squares, etc. The Generalized Method of Moments framework is introduced and several popular estimators (IV, 2SLS, 3SLS, FE, RE) are derived from it. Econometrics I Part II provides a survey of the theory of time series methods in econometrics. Topics include univariate stationary and non-stationary models, vector autoregressions, cointegration and volatility models.  Asymptotic properties of estimators are an integral part of the course and are derived throughout the lectures.

Textbooks Part I: Hayashi, F. "Econometrics", Greene, W., "Econometric Analysis", Judge, G. et al. "Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Econometrics". Part II: Hamilton, J.D., “Time Series Analysis”, Lütkepohl, H. “New Introduction to Multiple Time Series Analysis”

  • Advanced Macroeconomics

Advanced Macroeconomics addresses recent developments in macroeconomic theory including monetary and international economics and models for endogenous growth. Special focus is given to dynamic optimization.

Textbooks: Ljungqvist, L. and T. Sargent, "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory"
Gali, J., "New Perspectives on Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle"
Gali, J. and P. Rabanal, "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?"

In the second term, students must take Econometrics II and choose at least two electives from the following list of courses.

  • Econometrics II

This course provides a rigorous review of basic linear regression and techniques both for cross-sectional and panel applications. The course then covers further topics which are important in applied econometric analysis based on individual level data and longitudinal data. These topics include a discussion of the asymptotic theory for nonlinear estimation techniques (MLE, Nonlinear Least Squares), discrete choice models, limited dependent variables models, and linear quantile regressions. The course provides an up-to-date treatment at the level of Wooldridge's textbook on “Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data”. The course will regularly discuss the causal interpretation of econometric estimates. The focus of the course is both on understanding the methodological concepts and on how to apply them. Students will learn to implement the estimation methods using the econometric package Stata.

Textbooks: Wooldridge, J. M. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data", Angrist, J. D. and J.-S. Pischke "Mostly Harmless Econometrics – An Empiricist’s Companion", Cameron, A. C. and P. K. Trivedi "Microeconometrics – Methods and Applications"

  • Two Elective Courses

Students choose two additional courses out of the broad programs offered by the three cooperating universities in Berlin. The courses must be at master or doctoral level and fit well to the students' research interests. Whether the courses of your choice qualify to be part of the GC curriculum depends on their academic level, the specific course syllabuses and your motivation. All courses offered by the Berlin School of Economics automatically qualify for the GC program.

  • Internship

Internships at high-level political or research institutions in Germany and abroad allow students to develop an in-depth, practical understanding of what it means to work in applied economic research. These internships can be with institutions anywhere in the world and should last between 6 and 26 weeks. They can also be conducted during later years. For international internships, the Graduate Center may provide financial support to cover travel and living expenses.

Recently, students did their internships at institutions like the IMF, World Bank, OECD, ECB or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Second to Fifth Year

  • Interactive Research Process

Doctoral students at the DIW Graduate Center pursue their dissertations on a wide range of different topics. Young postgraduates will be integrated into an interactive research process with close contact to excellent scholars. Further, as an independent research institute with thorough experience in policy consulting, DIW Berlin has access to many policy decision makers. 

For more information on the research conducted at the different departments of the DIW Berlin.

  • Individual Career Development Plan

At the start of the second year, each student is matched with a doctoral supervisor who serves as the chief contact for the student. The supervisor and the dean collaborate to develop a well-customized training and research program for the student. Each student will be given individual advice on his or her research career focusing on both scientific objectives and personal development.

  • Masterclasses and Minicourses

GC Masterclasses, taught by globally renowned guest lecturers, are a series of 1-2 day courses covering a wide range of topics of interest to economists.

GC Minicourses, taught by DIW or guest lecturers, are a series of workshops covering a wide range of topics of interest to economists.

  • Scientific Skills Workshops

The Graduate Center offers a number of “scientific skills” workshops that complement the formal training and dissertation writing. Focusing on soft-skills, these workshops are practically oriented and aim to improve crucial complementary skills such as:

Academic Writing
Scientific Presenting
Communicating Scientific Results in Popular Media
Publishing in Journals and Writing Abstracts
Applied Econometrics and Programming

Job Market Training with Mock Interviews

Here you can find more information about our upcoming Scientific Skills Workshops

  • GC Summer Workshop

Each year, the Graduate Center organizes a three-day Summer Workshop (Klausurtagung) in a hotel. There doctoral students present their research results and engage in various free time social activities.

  • Social Activities

The institute strives to promote the networking between doctoral students. Besides the numerous seminars and masterclasses, young researchers meet weekly at the "GC Coffee Break" in the lounge of the institute in order to exchange ideas. Once a month, the student representatives organize the "Thirsty Third" evening when all GC students meet in a local bar and talk in a casual atmosphere.

  • Completion

Upon completion of the PhD thesis, students receive a doctorate degree, usually from one of the Graduate Center’s partner universities:

Depending on the affiliation of the student’s supervisor, they may receive a degree from a university outside of Berlin.