M.A. in Applied Economics

Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Economics

Location: LAU Beirut.
Duration: two years (full-time) 
Total Credits: 30.
Department: Economics

The study of economics has changed considerably since the introduction of mathematical and econometric methods of analysis. The Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Economics provides interested candidates with an in-depth understanding of economic theory and applied quantitative methods.

The program prepares future professionals for jobs as applied economists in the private and public sectors. The student will learn how to gather, read and assess economic data, as well as conduct relevant policy analyses that are most valued by businesses, organizations, and policymakers. The program is also designed to be an intermediate step to the PhD in Economics or related fields.


Admission to the graduate programs offered at the Adnan Kassar School of Business follow the LAU general graduate requirements.

In addition to the following:

Program Requirements

The program consists of 30 credits with core courses emphasizing advanced microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and quantitative methods. A selection of diverse topics totaling 9 credits constitute the elective component. The topic courses survey current policy issues in local, regional and international contexts.

To obtain the MA degree, students should complete a total of 30 credits composed of:

- Core Requirements (18 credits)
- Elective Requirements (9 credits)
- Capstone Project (3 credits)

The Applied Economics Project course is a research project written under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are required to use economic models and tools to tackle an applied economics problem. Students are then required to present their work in a forum open for economics faculty and graduate students. 

Core Requirements (18 credits)

Number Course Cr.
ECO821 Advanced Microeconomics 3
ECO822 Advanced Macroeconomics 3
ECO831 Applied Econometrics I: Cross Section and Panel Data 3
ECO832 Applied Econometrics II: Time Series Data 3
ECO833 Applied Econometrics III: Empirical Strategies for Applied Microeconomics 3
ECO840 Mathematical and Computational Models in Applied Economics 3

Electives (9 credits with minimum 6 credits in economics)

Number Course Cr.
ECO835 International Monetary Theory and Policy 3
ECO850 Environmental and Resource Economics            3
ECO852 Public Economics 3
ECO855 Growth, Business Cycles and Economic Policy 3
ECO861 Economic Policies in the Middle East 3
ECO863 Challenges of Economic Development in the Middle East 3
ECO880 Special Topics in Economics 3
Non-economics Electives
FIN835 Commercial Bank Management 3
FIN863 Financial Derivatives  3
FIN836 Modern Portfolio Management 3
OPM880C Sp.Top.OPM: Operations Management 3
ACM724 Linear Programming 3
CSC615 Machine Learning 3
CSC688C Top.CSC: Data Visualization 3
IGS725 Gender and Public Policy 3
INA831 Intl. Political Economy 3
MIG765 Migration and Development 3

MA Project (3 credits)

Number Course  Cr.
ECO898 Applied Economics Project 3

Program Outcomes

The MA in Applied Economics program places a significant emphasis on research experience, preparing our students to understand and analyze complex economic theories but also to apply these theories in a practical research setting.

Comprehensive econometrics training is a crucial part of the program. With three specialized econometrics courses, our students are equipped with robust quantitative skills, enabling them to model, forecast, and analyze economic and social phenomena. Throughout these econometric courses, students learn how to use the appropriate tools (i.e. Stata) needed to analyze datasets, perform statistical analyses, and make evidence-based economic decisions.

The real-world application of skills is integral to our approach. Students are encouraged to delve into various research projects, applying economic theories and econometrics skills throughout their studies. These projects span a variety of economic issues, enabling students to broaden their understanding and find their unique research interests.

To graduate, students must complete a Research Project under the supervision and mentorship of experienced faculty, allowing them to apply their accumulated knowledge and skills to craft and address a unique research question. Students undertake the complete process of conducting research, from formulating a research question to presenting findings in a structured academic paper, with some students managing to publish academic research papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals.

This focus on practical research experience equips our students with a deep understanding of applied economics and provides a solid foundation driving their success in a Ph.D. program and their professional careers. Upon graduation, our students are adept at handling complex data, conducting rigorous research, and interpreting and presenting their findings – skills that are highly sought after in academia, government, industry, and non-profit organizations.

The combination of comprehensive econometric training and real-world research experiences shapes our students into accomplished researchers. They graduate with a portfolio of research projects demonstrating their ability to contribute innovative insights to the field of economics. Whether they proceed into a Ph.D. program or a professional role, our graduates are equipped to drive economic research and policymaking, contributing to real-world decisions.

Upon completion of the MA in Applied Economics the graduate will:

Joint Publications with Faculty Members

  1. Fakih, A., Kassab, S., & Lizzaik, Z. (2023). Employability of Syrian refugees in Lebanon: the role of legal residency. Defence and Peace Economics, 1–18.
  2. Baltaji, R., Fakih, A., & Sayour, N. (2023). How did COVID lockdowns affect firms and workers? Evidence from Jordan and Morocco. Development Policy Review.
  3. Boutros, P., Fakih, A., & Tarraf, M. (2023). Adapting to the New Normal: The Impact of Remote Work on Firm Performance in Jordan and Morocco. Regional Science Policy & Practice.
  4. Fakih, A., & El Baba, M. (2023). The willingness to emigrate in six MENA countries: The role of post‐revolutionary stress. International Migration, 61(4), 201-220.
  5. Boutros, P., Fakih, A. (2023). The Disability Employment Paradox in Developing Countries: Recent Evidence from Lebanon, Development Studies Research, 10(1), 1-16.
  6. El Baba, W., & Fakih, A. (2023). COVID‐19 and consumer behavior: Food stockpiling in the US market. Agribusiness, 39(2), 515-534.
  7. Fakhoury, A., Fakih, A. (2023). Government Intervention and Business Response as Determinants of Business Continuity amid COVID-19: The Case of Jordan and Morocco. International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, 17(2), 196-219.
  8. Hashem, I., & Marrouch, W. (2023). Polluting resource extraction and climate riskNatural Resource Modeling, 36(1), 1-9.
  9. Alamah, Z., AlSoussy, I., & Fakih, A. (2023). The Role of International Research Collaboration and Faculty Related Factors in Publication Citations: Evidence from Lebanon. Economies, 11(3), 90.
  10. Bouri, E., Hammoud, R., & Kassm, C. A. (2023). The effect of oil implied volatility and geopolitical risk on GCC stock sectors under various market conditions. Energy Economics, 120, 106617.
  11. Fakih, A., & Khayat, R. (2022). Social identity, confidence in institutions, and youth: Evidence from the Arab Spring. Social Science Quarterly, 103(5), 997-1018.
  12. Baki, G. A., & Marrouch, W. (2022). Environmental taxation in the Bertrand differentiated duopoly: New insightsResource and Energy Economics, 70, 101329.
  13. Boutros, P., Fakih, A., Kassab, S., & Lizzaik, Z. (2022). Does the Number of Publications Matter for Academic Promotion in Higher Education? Evidence from Lebanon. Social Sciences, 11(10), 454.
  14. Al Gharib, F., & Marrouch, W. (2022). Central air conditioning, air pollution and housing location: evidence from Lebanon. International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, 16(5), 979-990.
  15. Boutros, P., Fakih, A. (2022). Drivers of Research Outcomes in Developing Countries: The Case of Lebanon. Economies, 10(3), 58. 
  16. Fakih, A., Haimoun, N., Sleiman, A. (2022) What Drives Demand for Private Tutoring in the MENA Region? Evidence from a Youth Survey. African Development Review, 34(2), 268-279.
  17. Abdo A., I., Fakih, A. (2022) Does the Legal Form Matter for Firm Performance in the MENA Region? Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 93(1), 205-227.
  18. Fakih, A., Sleiman, Y. (2022). The Gender Gap in Political Participation: Evidence from the MENA Region. Review of Political Economy, 1-24.
  19. Barakat, Z., Fakih, A. (2021) Determinants of the Arab Spring Protests in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya: What have we learned? Social Sciences, 10(8), 282.
  20. Baalbaki, R., Marrouch, W. (2020). Is there a garbage Kuznets curve? Evidence from OECD countries. Economics Bulletin, 40(2), 1049-1055.
  21. Fakih, A., Ghazzawi, N., Ghazalian, P. (2020) The Effects of Power Outages on the Performance of Manufacturing Firms in the MENA RegionReview of Middle East Economics and Finance, 16(3), 1-28.
  22. Marrouch, W., Mourad, J. (2019). Effect of gasoline prices on car fuel efficiency: Evidence from LebanonEnergy Policy, 135, 111001.

Graduate Placements

Many of our Applied Economics graduates got admitted into top-ranked Ph.D. programs, and secured employment opportunities in international organizations, consulting firms, NGOs and multinational corporations.

Ph.D. Placement:

Industry Placement:



Wafaa El Baba, Research Analyst, UN-ESCWA

As an alumna of the M.A. in Applied Economics Program at LAU, I am proud to affirm that the program excels in preparing its students for a seamless school-to-work transition amid a fast-paced labor market characterized by high uncertainties and disruptions. The program’s knowledgeable and supportive faculty and well-tailored educational curriculum equipped me with the necessary expertise to embark on my career as a research analyst at the United Nations. Engaging with the faculty in extracurricular research work elevated my research and analytical skills and helped me identify and refine my research interests for future career and educational opportunities. The program’s emphasis on its applied aspect proved invaluable in meeting the current demanded skills in the job market.


Sara Kassab, Research Analyst, UN-ESCWA

The M.A. in Applied Economics program at LAU has been a transformative journey that has enabled me to reach new heights in my career and life. The program’s consistent emphasis on practical applications has been exceptionally beneficial, equipping me with the proficiency to produce a research paper from inception, a skill I once thought was beyond my reach. The faculty members’ continuous assistance and support have been priceless. They have guided me to explore new horizons and grow both personally and professionally. As I begin my journey as a research analyst at the United Nations, I am filled with a strong sense of confidence and preparedness, knowing that this program has provided me with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in my new position. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences this program has provided.


Zeina Lizzaik, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, Concordia University

The M.A. in Applied Economics program at the Lebanese American University (LAU) has been an enriching experience that has facilitated both my academic and professional growth. Students enrolled in this program gain valuable experience in diverse economic areas and acquire a vast amount of knowledge through the program’s coursework, thanks to the supportive faculty. Furthermore, the program actively promotes research and professional growth through internships and research assistantships, among other opportunities. As I prepare to take the next step in my academic journey with a Ph.D. program, I am sincerely grateful for the knowledge and experiences gained through this exceptional program. I am confident that the strong foundation and expertise acquired will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping my academic and research aspirations for the Ph.D. program and beyond.


Pierre Boutros, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, University Côte d’Azur

Pierre Boutros is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Economics at GREDEG, a research center associated with the University Côte d’Azur, and he is a consultant at the Lebanese Center for Lebanese Studies (LCPS). He received his master’s degree in Applied Economics from the Lebanese American University and Bachelor’s degree in Financial Engineering from La Sagesse University. He has been active in research and policy reports. His research areas include economics of science, labor economics, and applied economics. Pierre also contributed to the book “The Middle East and North Africa 2022”.


Yara Sleiman, PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science, University College London

The M.A. in Applied Economics program was a challenging but rewarding experience that allowed me to grow academically and professionally. The coursework helped me advance my empirical research skills and learn how to effectively handle complex datasets in my research. This skill set has been instrumental in my pursuit of a doctoral degree and has set me up for success in my academic career. I was also fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a dedicated and knowledgeable faculty who were always willing to provide guidance and support.


Ghina Abdul Baki, Ph.D. candidate in Economics, University of Ottawa

“The Applied Economics Graduate Program at LAU offers a high educational quality that is vital for a future career or academic success. It also creates supportive and encouraging learning and research environment for students to step out of their comfort zone, and that is what defines an authentic education.”


Giorgio Maarraoui, Ph.D. candidate in Economics, the University of Manchester

“The M.A. in Applied Economics has greatly boosted my software skills (STATA, Mathematica, and GAMS) as an economist. Needless to say, knowledge of these skills is in high demand in the labor market in Lebanon and abroad. In addition, the program not only enriched me with the theoretical baggage needed for a Ph.D., but also allowed me to learn how to write referee reports, think about real-life economic problems strategically and methodically, and write economic papers from A to Z.”