Master 2 Public sector economics

Knowledge aims

The programme is aimed at providing a thorough and critical understanding of the economic principles at play in topical and social issues. Students will be trained in economic analysis in such a way as to be able to apply tools facilitating decision-making (public and private sector). There are two different tracks in this specialisation:
•    Environmental and Health Economics (EES)
•    Public Sector Policy Analysis (PPA)
Students taking this specialisation will find employment in the private sector, dealing with project evaluation, sustainable development or health (for example, in analysis and consulting firms or eco-industries), in the public sector (local authorities or international bodies) or in the voluntary sector. Possible career paths include posts in socio-economic analysis and forecasting (data analyst, statistician, econometrist, project officer), health or environmental economist or officer in charge of evaluating a public policy (research officer).

Focus on Environmental and Health Economics

  • Skills: the modular approach in this programme enables the student to choose between taking a route exclusively directed either towards health economics or towards environmental economics, and taking a joint health-environment route, whether professional or academic. The curriculum thus covers all the skills usually required both in environmental economics – with particular focus on public and individual decision-making (companies, consumers, citizens) – and in health economics (medico-economic assessments). At the end of the programme, students will have acquired skills in economic analysis methods applied to the environment and to health. They will be able to analyse a problem, to identify and to apply the appropriate methods and tools (both theoretical and empirical) to deal with the issues likely to arise in their professional field, and will know how to process and interpret data. They will also be able to communicate the results of their analysis clearly in writing.
  • Employment prospects: students are prepared for careers involving the environment and natural resource management, either in the private sector (air, water, waste, food industries or consultancies) or in the public sector (regional, national or international agencies and local or regional authorities). The programme also prepares them for jobs in consulting firms, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, health insurance (either the publicly-owned organisations, the “Mutuelles”, or private supplementary health insurance) and the French and international health-sector regulatory bodies. Career in higher education, in public sector research or in private sector research and development must write a research dissertation. Students interested in the professional track are invited to do an internship during the second half of the programme and to write an internship report. Those aiming for a career in higher education, in public sector research or in private sector research and development must write a research dissertation. They can also pursue their studies towards a PhD at AMSE, with a view to a university career.

Focus on Public sector Policy Analyses

  • Skills: this track provides the all-round economics training needed to undertake research projects in the field of public policy evaluation. Students will develop all the skills needed to analyse public policy. At the end of the programme, students will be able to draw on rigorous theoretical and conceptual training (public sector economics, econometrics, economic philosophy) as well as powerful empirical tools (methods of evaluation, statistical analysis, social-fiscal system simulators). The programme also provides practical working knowledge of fiscal affairs, social affairs, housing policy, local policy and development policy.
  • Employment prospects: at the end of the programme, students can obtain posts as researchers; as research officers in ministerial research departments (DREES, DARES) or in major public organisations (Bank of France, INSEE, Conseil d’Analyse Stratégique), research officers in public observatories (Observatoire Nationale de la Pauvreté et de l’Exclusion Sociale, OFCE), unions, associations, think tanks and other interest groups influencing public action; as project officers in governing councils or municipalities. Expert evaluation openings can also be found in international bodies (IMF, World Bank, OECD) and in non-governmental organisations responsible for social policy or projects in the developing countries. Independent experts are often required for this kind of evaluation, creating a sizeable market for economists specialised in the field. This track also aims to provide a solid foundation in economics for students wishing to pursue careers in political and economic journalism, or to manage projects requiring input from public stakeholders.

Studying abroad

This specialisation maintains links with a range of international networks that are particularly active at doctoral level: the EDGE network (European Doctoral Group in Economics), GDRI research networks “Knowledge-Interaction-Decision” and “Search and Matching”, and the CNT network (Coalition and Network Theory).

Structure and organisation

This specialisation includes a core curriculum common to the whole Master’s, specific subjects related to Public Sector Economics, courses and input by professionals relative to each of the tracks. Overall, M2 is taught in English, with the possible exception of certain courses given by professionals.

Professional training

The teaching is organised in such a way as to reinforce professional aspects, featuring in particular oral presentations and/or case studies to be performed, contacts with professionals according to track.


This specialisation is aimed at students who have successfully completed an M1 containing the desirable and compulsory pre-requisites for the course and that has clearly provided them with solid skills in economics, econometrics, probabilities and statistics and mathematics. Students with an M1 of this description, from French or foreign universities, will be recruited.
Pre-requisites: students must have solid skills in quantitative techniques (statistics, econometrics, mathematics) as well as a thorough knowledge of a statistical software package (of the Stata, SAS or R type), for this specialisation as a whole. They must also meet basic pre-requisites in microeconomics or in health economics (for the “health” track). A good knowledge of English is generally required.
Other desirable skills: knowledge of public sector economics is desirable for this specialisation as a whole, and familiarity with formal calculation software like Maple is a plus.

Ensuring success

Students can extend their knowledge by enrolling in an additional university diploma course, “Research in Economics”.

Help choosing further studies or finding employment

The Head of Studies of each track will help the students understand their post-M2 options with respect either to pursuing further studies or to immediately entering the employment market. Doctoral studies can be undertaken following this Master’s; candidates can apply to the school of doctoral studies Ecole Doctorale en Sciences Economiques et Gestion (ED 372) and write a thesis. Students are allowed to attend extra courses in another of the Master’s specialisations, with a view to acquiring additional skills in a particular field (quantitative tools, the environment, the evaluation of public policies).

Student assessment

Students’ knowledge will be assessed for each course by written or oral examination. Practical procedures for this examination will be as defined by the General Examining Regulations of the establishment. The means of assessment will be reviewed annually, following the recommendations of the management committee of the Master’s.