General information about master theses
Important: Please read this document before approaching us with specific questions on master theses.
Master theses can be written either in English or German.
We strongly recommend students to first complete their course work, and to pursue their theses afterwards. We also recommend students who plan to write the thesis with us to participate in a seminar in 'Economic Theory' before starting their thesis.
The purpose of a master thesis is it to acquaint students with scientific methods used in modern economics. This involves a mixture of model-based analysis and empirical work as well as scientific writing/reporting. The thesis is an essay on a specific problem of economics. The length of a master thesis is between 50 and 60 pages including graphs, tables etc.
Students are expected to work independently on an assigned topic. The thesis is submitted after a period of 4 months.
We offer a set of topics that students may pursue for a master thesis under our supervision. The list of topics is displayed online on this website. Generally, we supervise two types of master theses.
For the first type of thesis, please see our topics on this website. The recommended literature and the abstract give you guidance for your research. For each topic, several variants are possible. For instance, you may decide to write a thesis with a theoretical focus by comparing the implications of different theoretical models or by applying a particular theoretical model to the problem at hand. You may also decide to write a thesis with an empirical focus by comparing the hypotheses that can be derived from a theoretical model to the existing empirical evidence. You may, of course, also pursue your own empirical research project, focusing on the experiences of a special country or a group of countries. When applying for a particular topic, you should indicate whether you are interested in writing a thesis with a more theoretical or with a more empirical focus. You should also indicate which pre-requisites you have, i.e. which lectures and seminars in the particular field you have attended. The more detailed your ideas what you plan to do, the better!
For the second type of thesis, you can suggest your own research project. Your research should fit into the research agenda of the department. If you choose your own research project, please apply with an extended abstract (2-3 pages) which defines the question you are going to analyze and the methodology you will use.
We have two application periods: September 15 - 30 and March 15 - 31. Please use the application form and make sure that you fill in all fields. When you apply for the first type of master thesis described above, please select two topics. If you apply for the second type of master thesis, please do not forget to hand in the extended abstract with the application form.
Assignment of Topics
We assign the topics to the students in the first weeks of October and April. If the number of applications exceeds our capacity, we choose among the students on the basis of credit points, course achievements, and focus of their studies.
Students have to attend our master thesis colloquium, which takes place on a monthly basis. Each student is requested to present her/his outline close to the start and to present the main results close to the end of the 4-month period.
In summer term 2010 the colloquium takes place at: 14.05.2010; 11.06.2010; 09.07.2010.
In case of further questions, please contact Esteban Prieto.