Ilja Surkovs

Student Policy Economics 


'Policy Economics is a specialisation for open-minded critical thinkers who want to perform sound economic analysis and give sound economic advice based on facts'

Why I chose Policy Economics? 

After my Bachelor studies and some working experience in finance, I have understood that I am much more interested in broader economics, that I want to do bigger things and that I want to contribute to the society. I have chosen Erasmus School of Economics, because price/quality ratio is one of the best in Europe. Further, I chose Policy Economics because it gives a solid knowledge that could be applied.

Valuable contacts

I found seminars in Policy Evaluation and Policy Economics very interesting and value-adding. The first seminar taught us to critically analyse economic policies. The second seminar focused on the Euro Crisis. We got a solid understanding of the current challenges in Europe and what could be done to address them. Thus, after this programme one is able to analyse economic policies both at a micro level using technical tools and at a macro by having a broad conceptual understanding. Another strong aspect of the programme is that you can make very valuable contacts, which can really help you with your future career. Currently I am finalising my Master's thesis and waiting for the start of a traineeship in the field of Policy Economics.

Jonathan Frisch

Student Policy Economics 

‘I strongly recommend the specialisation in Policy Economics. It strengthens your foundation in economics and provides you with excellent skills to analyse economic policy issues’


A programme tailored to your preferences 

Throughout my Bachelor studies I got a broad overview of economics. Only in my final year I specialised in policy economics, by choosing it as my major. This was also the time I discovered my passion for economic policy. After completing my Bachelor degree, I knew that I also wanted to do a specialisation in Policy Economics. One of the great aspects of this programme is that it covers a broad range of policies, while offering diverse electives which allows you to create a programme tailored to your preferences.

Exellent career prospects 

The most interesting part of the specialisation starts with the seminars, as you turn your theoretical knowledge into practice. I especially liked the seminar in Economic Policy, in which we critically reflected on the euro crisis and the policy responses that followed. The seminar is extremely interactive, which also holds for the specialisation in general. Moreover, it offers guest lectures by some of the most prominent policy-makers. Overall, I strongly recommend the specialisation in Policy Economics. It gives you excellent career prospects and offers you the unique possibility to combine your thesis with an internship at one of the many partner institutes.

Falk Laser - alumnus

Research and Teaching Assistant

Employer: Technische Universität Darmstadt

Graduated: 2014

'Policy Economics is a great programme helping you to disentangle the complexity of big policy questions and develop sound economic analyses to real world problems'


Why I chose Policy Economics?


After a very theoretical training in economics in my bachelor, I wanted to learn how to apply economic theory to real world problems. This programme was the perfect choice. It advances knowledge in policy related theory and provides the space to get acquainted with the vast bulk of relevant literature. In fact, it demands of the students to take matters in their own hands and present and discuss in written and oral form self-designed solutions to pressing policy questions. One of the most memorable sentences from the programme was that as young economists, we live in very particular times. This is because with the global financial crisis and its aftermath unfolding we have the learning opportunity to dig deeper and understand.  This is somewhat representative for the learning atmosphere in this programme: big questions are tackled and rigor in economic analysis is coupled with a good dose of curiosity and the freedom to discuss alternative approaches. Thanks to the dedicated and demanding teaching staff, I could develop academically and personally. Last but not least, it was also the co-students with some of which I am still in close contact, which made these 12 months a really long-lasting experience.

My career so far


During my studies at Erasmus School of Economics, I did an internship at the Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) in The Hague and could apply what I learned about economic policy making in the programme. The experience gained at the ACM certainly helped me in my next job. I did a traineeship at the European Commission and worked in the cabinet of Commissioner for Competition Magrethe Vestager. In Brussels, I extensively drew on the skills, I learned in Rotterdam.  These enabled me to swiftly analyse complex material, identify the relevant economic and political challenges involved and design economic policy proposals. After an internship in an academic environment at the Max-Planck-Institute in Bonn where I conducted research on financial regulation, I decided to go back to university and start a PhD. I am currently involved in a joint programme of Goethe-University Frankfurt and Technische Universität Darmstadt and I hold a research and teaching assistant position at the chair for International Economics in Darmstadt. Besides teaching responsibilities, I am working on my own research on topics in international macroeconomics, monetary economics and financial economics.

Matthijs Oosterveen - alumnus


Employer: Erasmus School of Economics

Graduated: 2013 



This master equips you with the set of tools to tackle the most urgent economic policy questions that society faces today'

A set of tools to tackle the most urgent economic policy questions that society faces today

Steven Levitt writes “Since the science of economics is primarily a set of tools, as opposed to a subject matter, then no subject, however offbeat, need be beyond its reach”. This master specialisation equips you with exactly these set of tools to tackle the most urgent economic policy questions that society faces today: from rising health care cost to the ongoing slow growth of the Eurozone. This specialisation is different from any other master due to its two outstanding seminars. In the first seminar, you tackle to the core-question of almost every econometric analysis in economics: does x have a causal effect upon y? For example, does a rise in the minimum wage truly causes an employer to cut employment, or does reducing class size increase student performance? In the second seminar you use the tools to find the answer for an urgent economic policy problem. In my academic year, we discussed the Eurozone crisis. By discussing papers, analysing (theoretical) mechanisms and related empirical work, I delved into the problem of competitiveness.

My career so far

The programme had a major positive impact on my career. After completing an internship at the Ministry of Education, which involved writing my master thesis, I concluded I wanted to continue in academia. I am currently a PhD-candidate at Erasmus School of Economics. In my research I address the policy questions and use the economic tools I discovered during the master program. During my internship at the Ministry of Education, I noticed the policy arena is in need for economic advisers that can deliver well-founded policy analyses. Being able to give the economic and scientific arguments for why and how the government should intervene is an invaluable quality for a policy maker.