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Ph.D. in Economics Top Colleges, Syllabus, Scope and Salary

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Sakshi Gupta

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Ph.D. in Economics is a three to five-year doctorate course. Eligibility for the course is a postgraduate course in Economics, candidates should also have Bachelor’s degree in Economics/Bachelor in Technology in Economics from recognized University.

Top institutes which are offering Ph.D. in Economics course are as follows:

The average tuition fees for Ph.D. in Economics ranges between INR 80,000 to 6 Lacs for the span of 3 to 5 years.

Admissions to Ph.D. in Economics course are on the basis of counseling after clearing entrance tests depending on the colleges. Some of them are:

  1. GATE
  2. UGC NET
  3. GRE
  4. JCECE 2020 (Jharkhand Combined Entrance Competitive Exam)
  5. IIM Ph.D. test

Major subjects studied in Ph.D. in Economics course are  Agricultural Economics, Financial Economics, Labour Economics, Industrial Economics, International Economics, Business Economics, Banking Economics, Environmental Economics, Developmental Economics, Rural Economics and Rural Development and Econometrics etc.

Graduates with this degree have an opportunity for the industries like Coaching Centres, Economics Consultancies, Economics Department, Home Tuitions, Museums, Private Tuitions, Publishing House, Research and Development Agencies and Schools etc.

Some of the top companies hiring Ph.D. in Economics graduates are Bank of India, Bharat Forge, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, BSNL, Cognizant, Ericsson India, Flipkart, Future Group, Goldman Sachs, Grasim Honda Two Wheelers, Indian Oil, Infosys, JCB, Mahindra Engineering, Microsoft, ONGC, Reliance, Reliance Industries Limited, TATA, Tata Power, TCS etc. The average salary for Ph.D. in Economics graduates is around INR 2 to 8 Lacs but this can be higher on the basis of experience and other factors.

Ph.D. in Economics: Course Highlights

Listed below are some of the major highlights of the course.

Course Level Doctorate
Duration 3 to 5 years
Examination Type Semester System
Eligibility Post-graduation in Economics
Admission Process Based on counseling after clearing Entrance Tests like UGC-NET for different colleges.
Course Fee INR 80, 000 to 6 Lakh for three years
Average Starting Salary INR 2 to 8 lacs per annum
Top Recruiting Companies Bank of India, bharat forge, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, BSNL, Cognizant, Ericsson India, Flipkart, Future Group, Goldman Sachs, Grasim Honda Two Wheelers, Indian Oil, Infosys, JCB, L T L T Engineering and Construction, Local Oye, Mahindra Engineering, Microsoft, ONGC, Reliance, Reliance Industries Limited, TATA, Tata Power, TCS
Job Positions Accounting, Auditor, Banking and Finance, Insurance Investment, Marketing, Stock Broker, Media Analyst, Management, Manufacturing, Advertising, Communication, Actuarial

Ph.D. in Economics: What is it About?

Ph.D. in Economics typically covers macroeconomics and microeconomics. However, this is a useful degree if you want to get a career in teaching or formally researching economic subjects. Once the proposal is approved and the oral exam passed, the final years of enrollment are dedicated towards the research, writing, and defense of a dissertation.

Many students are interested in pursuing higher studies in this subject. The major opportunity which lies in the field of Economics is that it is mainly involved in the field of Research. A Ph.D. degree should only be taken if a person has ample interests in research-oriented works. Mostly the PhDs are taken by people who are involved in the Academics field. This may result in better understanding of the particular field or subject in a better manner.

This could involve admissions in prestigious institutions and placements in blue-chip companies. Many of them have also been engaged in diverse fields ranging from civil society to policy making through their education, research, field action, and extension. 

Students would be able to understand a wide range of theoretical debates in economics and business, analyze economic problems and evaluate the implications for economic policy and business planning & strategy after completing Ph.D. in Economics course

A master’s degree or Ph.D. in Economics is required for most economist jobs. An advanced degree is sometimes required for advancement to higher level positions.

Ph.D. in Economics: Top Institutes

Indian Institute of Technology Indore INR 3 Lakh
Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata INR 2 Lakh
Loyola College Chennai INR 3.55 Lakh
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore INR 400,000
Lovely Professional University Punjab INR 249,500
Stella Maris College Chennai INR 207,620
School of Management, BML Munjal University Gurgaon INR 67150
Fergusson College Pune INR 45,800
IFMR - Institute for Financial Management and Research Chittoor INR 75,000
Mizoram University Mizoram INR 80,000
Madras Christian College Madras INR 60,000
Amity University Jaipur INR 250,000
Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University Lucknow INR 100,000
Meenakshi College For Women Chennai INR 50,000
AISECT University Bhopal INR 200,840
Santosh University Ghaziabad INR 3 Lakh

Ph.D. in Economics: Eligibility

To pursue a Ph.D. in Economics course, the candidate should have Masters or M.Phil. degree in Economics from a recognized university. Also the masters in Biology/Pharmacy and Economics or the relevant stream with an aggregate of 55% marks and also with valid Ph.D. entrance test along with the interview. For admission to the Ph.D. programme in Economics department, a minimum requirement is Master’s degree in Economics.

If you have taken admission to M.Phil degree through an entrance examination, you may not need to give any entrance exam at Ph.D. level. Some Universities also admit students on basis of National Eligibility Test (NET).  Final Admission is given on the basis of Interview round conducted nearly a month before the commencement of the semester. 

Usually, Ph.D. course admission is done after Masters or M.Phil degree, but if you happen to be one of the toppers in UG BE/B.Tech course from a reputed university, you may be eligible for direct admission to the Ph.D. course. Such candidates require 75% marks in qualifying examination along with a valid GATE score. 

Ph.D. in Economics: Admission Process 

In India, universities have rights to set their own procedure and standards for the Ph.D. programme admissions. But the set of requirements for the application are similar. These should include a research proposal, detailing the proposed outline of your Ph.D. project, and explaining the methodology you plan to employ.

This is referred to as the National Eligibility Test (NET) and is administered by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for most subjects, with the exception of Science and Engineering which are covered by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Entrance Exams are:

  1. JCECE 2020 (Jharkhand Combined Entrance Competitive Exam)
  2. UGC NET
  3. IIM Ph.D. test
  4. GRE
  5. GATE

Although an undergraduate degree or a master's degree in economics may be helpful for admission, most programs only require prospective students to have completed a year or more of college-level economics. Additionally, many programs require applicants to have completed several semesters of calculus. While not required, some programs also recommend that students complete courses in statistical analysis before applying.

In addition, most programs require applicants to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and letters of recommendation. Many economics departments require that prospective candidates also provide a statement of purpose. The statement should outline the student's goals and also indicate possible research areas, like international economics or income distribution.

Ph.D. in Economics: Syllabus and Course Description

  1. Introduction to philosophy of science and research methodology
  2. Research Design: Need for research design, Features of a good research design, Different research design
  3. Experimental survey: Basic principles of experimental design
  4. Case studies - problems and limitations.
  5. Planning and implementing research projects: planning a research project, problem formulation, research strategy and methods
Unit 1: Micro and Macro Economics
  1. Consumer Demand Theory: Choice under Certainty and Uncertainty
  2. Theory of Production and Cost
  3. Inflation and Unemployment in the Closed and Open Economy
  4. Macro policy options
  1. Methods of Data Collection: Direct method and Indirect methods
  2. Data collection through questionnaires and schedules
  3. Problems in data collection
  4. Data processing: Operations and Problems in data processing
  5. Sampling design: meaning and its applications
  6. Measurement and scaling techniques: Measurement Scales and Sources of errors in measurement
Unit 2: International Trade, International Finance, Corporate Finance
  1. Modern theory of trade and trade Policy,
  2. Intra-Industry Trade, Free Trade versus Protection, Analysis of gains from free trade.
  3. Theories of Balance of Payment and exchange rate determination
  4. Policy Conflicts and Adjustment under Fixed and Flexible Exchange Rates
  5. Modern Investment Theory
  6. Financial Derivatives
  1. Analysis of Data: Measures of and analysis Central Tendency, Dispersion, Skewness, and Kurtosis
  2. Theoretical Distributions: Normal, Poisson and Binomial
  3. Statistical Estimation and Testing of a hypothesis.
Unit 3: Development and Growth Theory • Theories of under-development • Classical Growth Models • Endogenous Growth Models • Sustainable Development
Unit-4: • Methods of Analysis: Simple and Multiple Regression • Time series analysis • Problems in econometric estimation Unit 4: Economic Issues and Policy-I • Planning and Economic Reforms • Financing of Infrastructure Development, Education Sector, • PSUs, Privatization and Disinvestment, • Fiscal and Monetary Policy Approaches Tax Reforms, Central Government Finances • Financial Sector Reforms, Money and Capital market. • Foreign Trade Liberalization, Balance of Payments, Exchange Rate • World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indian Competition Policy. • WTO and Effects of Trade (Liberalization and Globalization) on Poverty, Inequality, Environment, Gender, Labour Standards, Technological Transfers etc.
Unit-5: • Documentation - writing the research thesis • Introduction to statistical and econometric software Unit 5: Economic Issues and Policy-II • Poverty, Income Distribution and Justice • Migration and Demographic Transition • Land Reforms in India and their impact on Agrarian Structure • Nature and Problems of Rural Development in India • Indian Industry and Structural Changes • Rural industrialization and strategies • Rural poverty alleviation and employment programmes

Ph.D. in Economics: Career Prospects

The students can opt in for the various specializations which are available such as:

  • Applied Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Business economics etc.

The candidates can clear NET conducted by UGC for lecture posts. The remuneration in this field is pretty good when compared to others.

Work Location Salary
Mumbai, Maharashtra INR 258,000 - 645,000
Chennai, Tamil Nadu INR 200,000 - 720,000
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh INR 1,80,000
Bangalore, Karnataka INR 5,40,000

A Ph.D. degree will help a person to get into the research-oriented teaching profession.The candidates can also get employed in Research labs etc. After Ph.D. one can also apply for the Junior Fellowship exams. Hence the course of Economics in is in higher demand among the students nowadays.

The career prospects for Ph.D. in Economics graduates are many. Numerous fields are waiting for economic graduates both in the public as well as the private sectors. The average salary is Rs 4 to 8 lakh per annum.

Ph.D. in Economics? Employment Opportunities

The various fields are offering better job opportunity after passing Masters or M.Phil. in Economics.

  1. Accounting
  2. Auditor
  3. Banking and Finance
  4. Insurance Investment
  5. Marketing
  6. Stock Broker
  7. Media Analyst
  8. Management
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Advertising
  11. Communication
  12. Actuarial
  13. Education and Research
  14. Retailing
  15. System Analysis

Postsecondary economics teachers and economists are two careers in which a Ph.D. in Economics is helpful.

Different Fields of Economics

There are various fields of economics. Some of the important disciplines are given here.

  1. Agricultural Economics
  2. Financial Economics
  3. Labour Economics
  4. Industrial Economics
  5. International Economics
  6. Business Economics
  7. Banking Economics
  8. Environmental Economics
  9. Developmental Economics
  10. Rural Economics and Rural Development
  11. Econometrics

You can apply to Indian Economic Services.

Read about more Ph.D. in commerce courses

Ph.D. (Economics) annual salary
Job Position Job Description Average Annual Pay Scale in INR
Lecturer/Professor The NET is conducted to determine the eligibility for Junior Research Fellowship Award or Assistant Professor. A lecturer’s job provides a stable salary and gives you a chance to constantly increase your knowledge. 295,493
Banker Bankers give their customers a wealth of services. They assist in setting up certificates of deposit and opening a checking or savings account as well as handling trusts, investment accounts, deposits, lines of credit and much more. 467,000
Economists An economist researches and interprets trends related to goods, services, and resources. They provide advice on economics to businesses and individuals.  455,286
Geographer A geographer uses qualitative and quantitative methods to gather and analyze data, synthesizing it into maps, reports, and other usable formats. Geographers specialize in the study of physical and human characteristics of an area, such as vegetation or population density. Employment often requires at least a bachelor's degree - and more commonly a master's degree - and relevant experience. Professional GIS certification may also be required. 5,14,536
Econometricians Reaching agreements about research projects with internal or external clients Monitoring and evaluating the data collection process. Using statistical software to organize and analyze the information gathered 478,705
Public Relations Officer Public relations (PR) is about managing reputation. To provide support and understanding to the clients as well as to try to influence them by your opinions and behavior. All means of media and communication should be used to manage the reputation of the customers. 240,790
Industrial organization economists Industrial economists analyze savings, investments, and risk. Industrial economists study the supply of workers and the demand for labor by employers. 8,70,558
Political Scientists Political scientists research the developmental and organizational aspects of political institutions, including government policies and patterns. While a bachelor's degree may qualify some candidates for entry-level positions with government entities, nonprofit associations, political campaigns or research organizations, completion of a master's or Ph.D. program in political science or public administration is the usual requirement for obtaining a position.  4,66,071

Ph.D. (Economics) Fee Structure in India

3.45 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES2.90 L  (Maximum Fee)
61.97 K (Average Fee)
15.13 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES10 L (Maximum Fee)
2.31 L (Average Fee)

Ph.D. (Economics) Fee Structure By state

Tamil Nadu

58.84 K
15.13 KPrivate COLLEGES90 K
44.35 K

Uttar Pradesh

1.02 L
26 KPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
2.58 L


68.69 K
22.70 KPrivate COLLEGES2.78 L
99.13 K

Delhi NCR

94.75 K
1.01 LPrivate COLLEGES4.90 L
2.61 L


58.73 K
1.80 LPrivate COLLEGES5.90 L
2.71 L


67.99 K
21.75 KPrivate COLLEGES2.52 L
1.49 L


69.41 K
90 KPrivate COLLEGES2.05 L
1.30 L

Madhya Pradesh

1.38 L
57 KPrivate COLLEGES3.56 L
2.20 L

West Bengal

24 K
1 LPrivate COLLEGES3 L
2.14 L


26.25 K
1.01 LPrivate COLLEGES3 L
2.24 L


27.14 K
1.22 LPrivate COLLEGES4.80 L
3.61 L


61.06 K
2.25 LPrivate COLLEGES3.63 L
2.94 L


3.45 K
1.10 LPrivate COLLEGES3 L
1.96 L

Andhra Pradesh

32.76 K
40 KPrivate COLLEGES2.05 L
1.38 L
53.38 K
3.41 LPrivate COLLEGES3.41 L
3.41 L

Himachal Pradesh

19.20 K
1.90 LPrivate COLLEGES3.69 L
2.75 L


18.90 K
3 LPrivate COLLEGES10 L
5.67 L


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