Research - PhD Economics Programme

We take pride in the Department of Economics’ outstanding placement record and it’s our ambition to place our PhD students in the best institutions worldwide. Our placement record is comparable with the top economics departments in the world, as shown by some of our recent placements which include MIT, UC Berkeley, Columbia, Stanford and Northwestern.

Professor Robin Burgess

The LSE Department of Economics is committed to an individualised and contextual review of each application to the MRes/PhD Economics programme. For 2022/23 applications, this review will take into consideration the substantive disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more below

Each year the Department of Economics admits around 20 funded students to join our vibrant doctoral programme, consisting of over 100 students from many countries and backgrounds. Our PhD students pursue research in all economic fields, closely supervised by a variety of faculty. We have a Chair and committee for both PhD Admissions and PhD Recruitment, as well as a dedicated professional staff at School and Department level managing funding and admissions.

The LSE Economics PhD Programme is grounded in two years of rigorous coursework through the MRes component and by a strong research element. You can find information about the individual research courses offered through our programmes.


As is the norm with top economic departments in the US, students entering the LSE PhD Economics programme are typically offered five years financial support; for more information please visit our Cost and Financial Aid page.

Research Centres in the Department of Economics

The LSE Department of Economics is somewhat unique for its major Research Centres. PhD students benefit from these centres both in terms of getting access to research funds as well as other facilities which complement their doctoral research.

Suntory and Toyota International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)

Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Financial Markets Group (FMG)

Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)

International Growth Centre (IGC)

Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM)

Open Day

Our Open Day gives PhD Economics offer holders a chance to experience first-hand the Department’s unparalleled research environment. The day includes panels with faculty and current MRes/PhD Economics students, individual meetings with faculty, a networking lunch and a formal dinner in London.

Our Open Day is pivotal in our recruitment process, measurable by our recent intakes which includes students who chose to join the LSE Department of Economics over offers from some of the other top 20 institutions in the world. 




Professors Den Haan, Burgess, Gavazza and Manning addressing offer holders at the 2019 Open Day. 


Lord Nicholas Stern welcoming attendees at dinner at the British Academy held as part of the 2019 Open Day. 



Laura Castillo-Martinez, Princeton, with offer holders at the student-led social drinks. 



Programme Requirements

Follow the link below to access information about the PhD routes and coursework.



Programme and School Regulations for research students

Find out more.


Further information

How to apply

Guidelines for submitting Research Statement

An application for 2022 entry to the PhD Economics should include a Research Statement, along with other required information (Note: A separate sample of Written Work is not required as part of the PhD Economics application).

Your Research Statement should be submitted in place of the Outline Research Proposal, along with your application form and other required supporting documents, via the LSE online application system (see the PhD Economics Admissions FAQs).

What should my Research Statement contain?

Please answer the following questions clearly and concisely. Max 200 words per question.

  1. Why do you want to do research in economics?
  2. Can you explain how your studies and experience make you suitable to do research in economics?
  3. Which aspect of the PhD do you think you will like the most? Which will you dislike the most? Why?
  4. Tell us about your favourite paper in economics. What do you like about it? How would you improve it?
  5. Write a comment for a general audience on ONE of the following topics
    (i) Is inequality good for growth? 
    (ii) Do immigrants take the jobs of native workers? 
    (iii) Is CEO compensation excessive?
    (iv) Is universal minimum income a good idea?
    (v) Overall, has central banks' move to inflation targeting been a success?
    (vi) Is culture an important determinant of differences in income per capita across countries?
    (vii) Markets function well as information is aggregated efficiently through prices.
    (viii) Elections are effective at disciplining politicians who do not have the public interest as their main goal.

How can I demonstrate research potential?

If you have served as research assistant for an economist please ask that person to write a letter focussing on your research skills and describe your experience – reference point 2 (above) of the research statement.

If not, please list any evidence you think would be valuable. Examples include but are not restricted to: experience working autonomously under stress without any guidance, demonstration of creativity in any form, experience of writing original research.

Financial information

COVID-19: exceptional circumstances (2022/23 entry)

We recognise that many institutions converted to a Pass/No Pass grading system in response to the pandemic. All applicants to the MRes/PhD Economics will normally be required to submit GRE scores as part of a standard and complete application. However, the Department will, on an exceptional basis, consider applications without GRE if there are valid reasons for not taking the test, such as non-availability of local GRE test facilities due to COVID-19.

Job opportunities

Class Teaching Opportunities

Class teaching opportunities are available during the course of research degrees. They represent useful professional training and can be a valuable and important experience. For more information, click here.  

PhD Job Market

Towards the completion of a research degree the Department organises an orientation meeting for prospective job market candidates and offers advice as well as a platform for candidates to present their experience and research. Available soon: the page with our current job market candidates.

European Doctoral Programme

The LSE Economics PhD Programme is affiliated with the European Doctoral Programme (EDP).

Current students


You can find more information about the profiles of Faculty and Teaching Fellows or Graduate Teaching Assistants, in the People section.

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