Post Graduate Program in Economics

MDAE’s flagship one year, full-time program has been designed by India’s leading economists and finance professionals to prepare students for the dynamic and globalized workplace. Since 2015, 6 batches of students have successfully undertaken this program. These students are now pursuing their corporate careers while some have gained admission into leading global universities for further education. Our unique teaching methods focus on applied learning and case studies rather than on rote learning. Along with having a rigorous academic experience, students will also regularly participate in workshops and labs with leading industry professionals through the year. The Program is meant for college graduates from any discipline who would like to learn economics, finance, data analytics and public policy. The Program would add value for young professionals who would like to develop applied analytical skills to further their careers. This program is rated as one the best amongst schools offering economics courses in India.

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    Course Structure


    FOUNDATIONS* (8 Weeks)
    • Mathematics
    • Statistics


    SEMESTER ONE (Core – 12 Weeks)
    • Applied Microeconomics
    • Advanced Macroeconomics
    • Econometrics 
    • Data Management & Programming


    SEMESTER TWO (Specialisation – 17 Weeks)
    Data Analytics
    • Advanced Econometrics
    • Time Series Econometrics
    • Machine Learning
    • Financial Statement Analysis
    • Corporate Finance
    • Measuring Risk in Equity & Fixed Income Markets
    Public Policy
    • Behavioural & Experimental Economics
    • Public Policy of Development
    • International Political Economy


    Learn more about our courses:

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    Foundation Courses

    The purpose of these courses is to prepare students for the Core Courses that will follow. Since not all students accepted into the program will have a rigorous quantitative training essential for an economics program, the Foundations Courses will introduce them to the essential elements of mathematical and statistical tools. For students who do join the program with some quantitative training, the Foundations Course will serve to review concepts in a practical and applied manner.

    Learning Outcomes & Skills

    • Rigorous understanding of mathematical and statistical concepts
    • Ability to apply mathematical and statistical tools to economics
    • Preparedness for the Core Courses

    Foundation course will cover two subjects:  


    Economic analysis is inherently quantitative, and so students must develop a rigorous understanding of the mathematical foundations that economic theory utilizes. In this course students will learn:

    • What a function is, and how to represent functions using algebra and graphs
    • Concepts of limits, continuity, differentiation and integration
    • How to differentiate and integrate a function of one or more variables
    • How to solve optimization problems
    • How to work with vectors and matrices
    • How to solve a system of equations

    Advanced Mathematics:

    Objective: This is an advance course on mathematics that is required to understand advance machine learning models. Main objective of the course is to develop all the mathematical foundations needed for machine learning, computational finance and other related disciplines.

    Broad outline: This course starts after the basic course on mathematics. The main content of the course is applied linear algebra, numerical methods, optimization and introductory graph theory.

    Learning outcome: Mathematical optimization, Large vector and matrices and their computational methods, numerical methods for vectors, matrices and optimizations.

    Prerequisite: Basic Mathematics and Statistics

    Applications: The applications of these topics will be demonstrated in advanced programming, machine learning  and computational finance.



    Economists work with data drawn from the real world, and students are required to become proficient with the basic tools of data analysis. In this course students will learn:

    • What is a random variable and how to describe it using the concept of probability
    • How to work with common probability distribution functions such as the Binomial, Poisson and Normal distributions
    • How to compute the expected value and variance of a random variable
    • How to work with jointly distributed random variables
    • How to formulate a statistical hypothesis, and how to test it
    • How to compute confidence intervals

    Core Courses

    After developing a solid quantitative foundation, all students are required to take a set of four Core Courses:

    1. Applied Microeconomics
    2. Advanced Macroeconomics
    3. Econometrics 
    4. Data Management & programming

    Each of these courses lead the students into an in-depth exploration of topics that every economist is expected to be proficient in. These courses will also prepare students for the Elective Courses, which provide training in more specialized sub-disciplines of finance, public policy and data analytics.

    Learning Outcomes & Skills

    • Rigorous understanding of markets and how they function
    • Ability to solve problems in microeconomics and macroeconomics
    • Ability to structure and analyze economic data with R programming
    • Knowledge of real-world markets, economies and policies
    • Ability to critically evaluate news articles about ongoing economic developments in India and abroad
    • Ability to critically evaluate academic and policy research in economics
    • Ability to write short- and long-form pieces on real-world economics issues
    • Ability to prepare and understand simple financial accounts
    • Preparedness for stream specialization in the Elective Courses

    Applied Microeconomics

    Microeconomics is the study of choice under constraints and is the ground of all economic theory. In this course, students will learn:

    • What the concept of equilibrium in a market is
    • How to model consumption choice as a utility maximization problem, and how to solve it
    • How to extend the consumer’s choice problem to other contexts
    • How firms decide what to produce and how much to produce
    • How consumers and firms meet and interact in different kinds of markets: competitive, monopolistic, duopolistic and oligopolistic
    • How some of those interactions can be usefully modeled using the techniques of game theory
    • Real-world examples of market failure and policies that attempt to restore markets to their proper functioning

    Advanced Macroeconomics

    While microeconomics studies individual markets, macroeconomics considers the economy at large, as a general equilibrium system of many simultaneously occurring markets In this course, students will learn:

    • How to measure “macroeconomic aggregates” like GDP, inflation, unemployment
    • How to conceptualize the macroeconomy as the interplay between three different markets
    • How to construct and work with the IS-LM framework
    • Why some countries are rich while others are poor
    • What central banks and governments can do to alleviate the problems of unemployment and inflation
    • The role of financial markets, such as the markets for stocks and bonds
    • How exchange rates can sometimes become instruments of monetary policy, and why countries may sometimes wish to adopt a common currency
    • Real-world case studies of recessions, financial crises and monetary union


    Econometric analysis is a crucial component of the professional economist’s toolbox, and this course builds on the Foundations Course in Statistics to teach students:

    • How to formulate testable hypotheses from economic theories, and how to test such hypotheses
    • How to “fit” econometric models to the data (commonly called the “specification problem” in econometric analysis) and how to remedy the problems intrinsic to this approach, viz. selection bias, autocorrelation, heteroscedasticity, multicollinearity, and endogeneity
    • The use of instrumental variables in estimating causal relationships
    • The relevant estimation techniques to model limited dependent variables (such as logistic regression)
    • How to work with a statistical programming software such as R to estimate a variety of econometric models

    Data Management and Programming

    The ability to read, manipulate and work with large datasets using programming languages is increasingly becoming a key requirement for professional economists. This course will provide students with an entry-level foundation in python programming. Students will learn:

    • How a computer works, and the basics of algorithms
    • How to develop algorithms in a pseudo-language
    • How to write clean, structured programs in different environments
    • How to read data into Python and perform operations on it
    • How to work with Python packages

    Elective Courses

    There are 10 elective courses on offer, of which, students will choose 4 for credit (and are allowed to audit one or more of the remaining 6). Of the 10, 9 are divided into 3 streams of 3 courses each. A student is not required to, but may wish to, specialize in one of the 3 streams, and if he/she decides to do so, then he/she must take all 3 courses in that stream, and 1 additional course to complete the 4 for-credit courses.

    1. Finance
    2. Public Policy
    3. Data Analytics

    Data Analytics
    Machine Learning– Machine learning is a technique of writing algorithms to recognize patterns in data.

    This course will teach students

    • How to carry out Monte-Carlo simulations 
    • Neural network methods
    • How to aggregate data in cluster analysis to uncover similarities in large data sets
    • Support vector machine regressions
    • How to work with Decision trees and Boosted Regression trees to model statistical relationships

    Time Series Econometrics– Many of the insights from the Core Econometrics course, which studies mostly cross-sectional data, carry over to situations where data are collected over time (e.g. financial data). However, time-series data present important challenges of their own. In this course, students will learn

    1. How to represent time series data as observations drawn from stochastic processes with lag operators 
    2. How to test and estimate stationary or non-stationary time series models
    3. How to work with integrated processes, and detect and address the problem of serial correlation 
    4. How to estimate the temporary and permanent effects of shocks in a macroeconomic or financial model using distributed-lag models
    5. How to apply the Box and Jenkins methodology for modelling the conditional mean of a macroeconomic time series
    6. How to estimate the volatility in financial markets using the autoregressive conditionally heteroscedastic (ARCH) and generalized conditionally heteroscedastic (GARCH) models
    7. How to estimate models with non-stationary time series data, and how to work with integrated processes
    8. How to estimate vector autoregression (VAR) and vector error-correction (VEC) models & How to infer from the impulse response function the effects of a particular policy intervention
    9. How to detect causality in VAR systems & How to perform univariate and multivariate forecasting exercises
    10. How to implement econometric estimation of time series models using the statistical software R

    Econometrics for policy analysis

    Financial Statements Analysis– Careers in finance, marketing, consulting, entrepreneurship and public administration require proficiency with financial statements. This course will teach students

    1. How to construct and inter-relate the three main financial statements of a firm: the profit & loss statement, the balance sheet, and the cashflow statement.
    2. How to analyze a firm’s investment and operating activities via a reading of its financial statements.
    3. How to use the Balanced Scorecard in conjunction with EVA measures for strategic management of organizations.
    4. The economics of value creation
    5. Profitability analysis
    6. Credit analysis
    7. Equity analysis
    8. Current issues in financial reporting (viz. the cases of Enron and Satyam, off-balance sheet items, fraud, forensic accounting, bankruptcy detection)

    Corporate Finance– In order to appreciate the importance of the financing function in a corporation, an in-depth knowledge of capital (or financial) structure is essential. In this course, students will learn:

    1. How different types of firms formulate their financial goals and objectives
    2. How different types of firms finance themselves
    3. How to link a firm’s financing decision to its investment decision
    4. Why the principal-agent relationship is key to understanding the capital structure decision
    5. Why the capital structure decision is important (theories such as Modigliani-Miller and CAPM)
    6. How to value financial securities using the principles of present discounted valuation
    7. How to trade off risk against expected returns
    8. Why a firm’s dividend policy is important
    9. How to analyze a firm’s dividend policy

    Measuring Risk in Equity & Fixed Income Markets– Finance professionals need to have a sound understanding of how to assess risk in equity and fixed income markets. In this course, students will learn:

    1. How equity markets are organized and how they function
    2. How wealth is allocated between different financial assets
    3. How idiosyncratic risk is different from systematic risk
    4. The concept of Beta which captures the impact of correlation on portfolio risk
    5. How assets are priced
    6. How to measure portfolio performance using metrics such as Jensen’s alpha
    7. How bond markets are organized and how they function
    8. How to value debt securities
    9. How to calculate spot and forward rates
    10. How to determine interest rate risk using concepts such as duration and convexity
    11. What the term structure of interest rates is and why volatility matters

    Public Policy
    Public Policy of Development– This course will provide an understanding of how economics can be used to understand development policies in the real world. Students will learn to analyze complex public policy issues in development as well as evaluate the impact of different policy approaches to a particular problem. In this course students will learn:

    1. What determines the decisions of poor households in developing countries?
    2. What are the different types of risks faced by poor households and how can we mitigate them?
    3. How do we make schools work better for poor citizens?
    4. How do we make poor citizens healthy?
    5. How do we analyze the effectiveness of microfinance on economic and social development?
    6. What is the scope for policy interventions in India and what policies have been tried out?
    7. How to evaluate the impact of public programs using modern empirical methods in economics, such as Randomized Control Trials (RCTs).

    International Political Economy– International Political Economy studies the intricate relationships between markets and states, between money and power, and between economics and politics, and is essential for students hoping to find employment in public policy roles in today’s global context. In this course students will learn:

    1. Why policymakers must pay attention to the interplay between economics and politics in designing effective policy
    2. What the main economic theories of trade are, and why these theories prescribe that countries should liberalize trade
    3. Why countries often choose not to liberalize trade, and what forms trade cooperation has in fact taken in the last 100 years
    4. What the main economic theories of FDI are
    5. How countries compete to attract multinational corporations
    6. Why China’s accession to the WTO in 2001 is a significant event in the history of multilateral trade liberalization
    7. What the Trans-Pacific Partnership means for its signatories and for those who have chosen not to sign the TPP
    8. What the political-economic considerations for liberalizing international finance are (with particular reference to the Euro project and its apparent failure)
    9. The fundamental principles of exchange rate economics, and why global financial stability requires the intervention and oversight of multilateral institutions such as the IMF

    Behavioural and Experimental Economics: This course introduces the major insights of behavioral and experimental economics to individual choice, social choice, and public policy. The course will first establish fundamental principles in behavioural and experimental economics. The last module of the course will explore the cutting-edge research in behavioral and experimental economics and its implications for public policy. In this course students will learn

    1. How to critically assess existing theories in economics using experimental data and understand behavioural basis for the same.
    2. How to explore theories in behavioural economics and assess their applicability.
    3. How to use behavioral insights to inform individual, household, and social decision-making.
    4. How to review complex public policy problems through the lens of principles of behavioural economics.
    5. How to analyze data from experiments to evaluate and fine tune policies that could not be easily tested with naturally occurring data.

    Crises– The 2008 Global Financial Crisis highlights the importance of understanding the myriad ways in which financial and macroeconomic systems are susceptible to episodic collapse. This course will teach students:

    1. A brief history of financial crises during the last 100 years
    2. How, in most of those cases, crises were precipitated by macroeconomic mismanagement leading to the buildup of speculative asset price bubbles
    3. How speculative asset price bubbles form (via a classroom experiment designed to simulate bubble formation)
    4. The specific features of the 2008 Global Financial Crises, especially the role of structured finance, the malfunctioning of debt markets, and the over-leveraging of financial institutions
    5. How a financial crisis causes economic activity to collapse, with specific reference to the examples of Japan after 1991, and the US and Europe after 2008
    6. How a financial crisis causes economic activity to collapse, with specific reference to the examples of Japan after 1991, and the US and Europe after 2008
    7. What kinds of preemptive policies can prevent the buildup of speculative asset price bubbles
    8. What kinds of post-crisis policies can prevent the collapse of economic activity
    9. How to analyze the current world economic scenario where a new crisis originating in China or some other emerging market may erupt

    The 10th course, Crises, does not fit neatly within any one stream, but students who specialize in the Finance or Public Policy streams may consider it as their 4th for-credit elective course since the course has elements of both finance and public policy. Alongside the three courses in each stream, students will also be offered Workshops/Econ Labs. These are not required for credit, but students specializing in a stream are strongly advised to attend the Workshops/Econ Labs being offered in that stream, as these will illustrate some of the principles taught in that stream and also offer additional training that is often required for jobs in the arena of that stream.



    Writing a Dissertation is an integral part of the courses offered at MDAE because it initiates the students to the process of research which is the means to stimulate curiosity as well as satisfy it in a scientific manner. It opens minds to new possibilities and explore further on subjects and widens the knowledge base.

    At MDAE, students work on a research topic in their interest for three months and are mentored by the faculty, industry experts, and the members of its Academic Board. The students are assisted by their supervisors in various ways including search for literature, data collection, data entry, and manuscript development.

    The top four dissertations are read by the Chairman of the Academic Board, Lord Meghnad Desai and he selects the best paper from among them. These four papers are compiled as an e-book.



    The program adheres to a philosophy of continuous assessment throughout the academic year to ensure that students effectively master the course materials and get enough opportunities to test their mastery. To this end, the students will be graded on the following:

    • End-of-course examination and project
    • Periodic problem sets
    • Writing assignments/Programming assignments
    • Contribution to classroom discussion and presentation
    • Classroom Attendance

    The precise breakup of the final course grade into these diverse components, and also the precise form that these components will assume in each course, will remain at the discretion of the course instructor, and will be communicated to students via the course syllabus that the instructor will hand out prior to the course.


    MDAE trains students to become practitioners to work in Banks, Consulting, Data Analytics, Policy and Think tanks. Our curriculum is designed by India’s leading Economists and Finance professionals from JP Morgan, Wellington Fund management, Aditya Birla Group and the Mint. Our unique teaching methods focus on applied learning and case studies. Our students get Industry Exposure through Mentorship programs, Econ Labs and Speaker Series. Over the past 4 years, more than 90 percent of our students are placed in corporates, banks and policy think tanks. MDAE students are working in companies such as Fractal Analytics, Reliance, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Praxis, Deloitte, Aditya Birla Group, JP Morgan, Decimal Point, IDFC Institute, Gateway House. 

    On successful completion of the program, the students receive a certificate of “Post Graduate Program in Economics”

    MDAE has incorporated three academic innovations in its program:

    Speaker Series

    The Speaker Series serves as an out-of-the-classroom venue for students to encounter exciting intellectual developments in the disciplines of economics and finance. A prominent academic or practitioner delivers a talk on a topic drawn either from their research or their work, and a discussion follows with members of the audience. These events are open to all member students, corporates, academics and the general public.

    Workshops/Econ Labs

    The Workshops/Econ Labs closely track what the students have learned in the classroom, and broaden and deepen their understanding of it. During each of these events, a prominent professional economist delivers a talk on a concrete real-world problem that he or she has grappled with, and that problem will serve as an illustrative application of concepts learned in the courses. Each of the Core Courses will offer Workshops/Econ Labs, while each of the streams in the Elective Courses will also offer its own set of Workshops/Econ Labs.

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