The PhD in Economics is a three-year program offered by the  Department of Economics and Statistics (DISES) of the  University of Naples Federico II. The program aims to produce high-quality researchers with strong analytical skills and international exposure. Students are trained for positions in academia as well as in governments, research organizations, public institutions, central banks, financial institutions and business enterprises. The program combines a common set of core courses (including   courses in mathematics, statistics, microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics) and elective courses, seminars and dissertation work. The diversity of research areas covered by the Faculty of DISES allows students to structure their coursework and write their doctoral dissertation in several different areas of economics. The program also benefits from a close collaboration with the  Center for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), which offers a wide range of research and academic activities and attracts every year leading international researchers in economics and finance.

The PhD program cooperates with several national and international institutions. The purpose of the agreements is to promote and support research cooperation and to facilitate students' mobility. The program has ongoing research collaborations with international leading universities and research institutions. Among them, the Center for Financial Studies, Goethe-Universitat, Frankfurt; the Department of Economics, Science Po, Paris; the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester; the Cass Business School, London; the Stockholm School of Economics; the Maison des Sciences Économiques, Universitè di Paris I – Sorbonne; the Research Group in Economic Analysis, Vigo University; the Tilburg School of Economics and Management, Tilburg University.

A new agreement has been finalized as associated partner of the  EDEEM Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate programme, a higher education cooperation and mobility programme funded by the European Commission. EDEEM is a doctoral program in economics whose partners are: University of Amsterdam (The  Netherland), Universität Bielefeld (Germany), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgique), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France), Università Ca' Foscari Venezia (Italy). In particular, as associated partner, our department is expected to contribute to the objectives of the EDEEM Programme sending its home students to study in the EDEEM Doctorate within an Erasmus-type exchange programme (with no double degree but recognition of the credits).


The selection of students is based on the assessment of the students' background, research potential and an interview.

Admission takes into account excellence in previous Master Programs (the Italian Laurea Magistrale or equivalent foreign degree). Successful candidates do not necessarily hold a degree in Economics.  Applications by students with a different background such as political sciences, social sciences, mathematics, engineering, physics, statistics etc are strongly encouraged.

Candidates are expected to show a strong interest in Economics, basic knowledge of microeconomics, macroeconomics, calculus and statistics. They should be fluent in written and spoken English and  supported by strong recommendation letters. Although language certifications are not required, they will be considered by the admission committee together with other credentials. Candidates who will obtain their Master degree by the end of October may also apply.

Expression of interest

Each year the official call is available in Julybut interested candidates are invited to submit an informal expression of interest to phd.dises@unina.it, enclosing:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (mentioning if a Master degree is expected before October);
  • at least one letter of reference;
  • a one-page research statement, falling within one of the research fields listed below;
  • any other documents (such as research papers, Master dissertation, GRE, TOEFL) that may help to assess the candidate's qualifications.

Formal application

The expression of interest is not the formal application. Candidates must send a formal application (enclosing all required documents) after the official call opens.

Promising candidates who have expressed interest for the PhD program, will be notified by the coordinator when the official call opens. The  formal application has to be sent in due time with all documents indicated in the official call (including the CV) and  represents the only way for being considered by the admission committee.

For more information on the formal admission procedure please click  here.


Up to five students are admitted to the program each year. One position is reserved for non-Italian students (students who are not resident in Italy and graduated abroad). Scholarships of approximately 12.300 euro each year (net of taxes) are available for 5 students. The duration of each scholarship is 3 years, subject to performance. The monthly allowance can be increased up to 50% for  students visiting a research institution or University abroad. Starting in the second year, there are also allowances for short-period mobility.

Research fields

  • Financial Economics: Actuarial Mathematics, Asset Pricing, Banking and Financial Services, Behavioural Finance, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Credit management, Financial Accounting, Financial Econometrics, Microstructure of Financial Markets, Risk Assessment
  • Macroeconomics: Macroeconomic policy, Monetary policy, Fiscal policy, Forecasting and business cycles analysis, Institutional and Development Economics, International Economics
  • Microeconomic theory: Auction Theory, Behavioural Economics, Contract Theory, Decision Theory, Economics of Information, Game Theory, General equilibrium theory, Industrial Organization, Mathematics of Economics, Finance and Risk Management
  • Economic History Business History, Industrial History, Financial History, History of economics
  • Applied Microeconomics Health Economics, Labour economics, Economics of Education, Economics of Crime, Economics of Innovation, Industrial Economics, Pensions and Insurance, Public Economics and Regulation.


Program Requirements

Organization of the PhD program

The PhD in Economics is a three-year program. All PhD courses are taught in English. The final dissertation can be written in English or Italian. By the end of each year, students must report on their activities (courses, research) and present their work during a public seminar. On the basis of this report, the Faculty admits the student to the second and third years and, in the third year, to the final examination. During the three years, all students must take courses for credit, and pass the corresponding exams according to the general schedule presented below. The total number of credits is 180 over the three years.

Please consult the section  Courses for details on courses offered.

First year (60 Credits): in the first year students are required to:

  • take CORE COURSES (50 ECTS)
  • participate in the seminars and workshop organized by DISES and CSEF (3ECTS);
  • prepare a brief outline of a PhD proposal (7 ECTS).

By the end of the first year, students define their research plan for the final dissertation and choose a research supervisor with the help of the PhD Director. From here on, they work in close contact with their supervisor on the PhD proposal.

Second year (60 ECTS): in the second year students are required to:

  • take further CORE COURSES  (15 ECTS);
  • choose ELECTIVE COURSES in two fields (18 ECTS);
  • participate in the seminars and workshops organized by DISES and CSEF (3 ECTS);
  • prepare a detailed PhD proposal (24 ECTS).

Students may spend all or part of the second year abroad, attending elective courses relevant to their research. By the end of the second year, students must present their research proposal in a seminar, open to students and Faculty members. A good seminar and a positive evaluation of the research progress is a necessary condition for admission to the third year.

Third year (60 ECTS): during the third year students are required to:

  • actively participate in the seminars and workshops organized by DISES and CSEF (8 ECTS);
  • complete their dissertation (52 ECTS).

Admission to the final Thesis Defense is conditional on a positive assessment of the entire dissertation by the supervisor and the PhD Faculty.

Final examination: the final examination involves a Committee of internal and external professors, proposed by the Faculty and appointed by the Rector of the University, according to the criteria required by the Doctor Europaeus certificate. The final dissertation consists of at least two essays, formatted as scientific papers of sufficient quality and originality for potential publication in reputable international refereed journals. It may also contain suitable material for a research monograph of sufficient quality and originality for potential international diffusion.

International experience and teaching duties

During the PhD program, every student must have at least one direct international experience, including visits for research purposes in non-Italian research institutions (at least three months are required to obtain the Doctor Europaeus certificate), attending an international school or an international conference, and presenting research results in international seminars and conferences. During the program, students are expected to collaborate with the Faculty working as teaching assistants for a maximum of 40 hours. The PhD director discusses with the student and with the Faculty committee whether his/her teaching activities are compatible with the doctoral program.


In the first two years of the PhD Program, students are required to take Core and Elective Courses.

Core Courses (36/42 hours),:

  • courses in Microeconomics, Mathematical Economics, Macroeconomics, Financial Economics, Econometrics offered to PhD students as well as to Master students;
  • courses specifically offered for the PhD program (and attended only by PhD students).

Elective courses (10/18 hours),:

  • "topic courses" attended by PhD students as well as Master students, offering a structured view of the literature and its development in a specific field;
  • "advanced topic courses" offered only to PhD students, in order to help them during the path that leads to the frontier of research in specific fields of economics. .

A non-exhaustive list of fields in which elective courses are offered is: Banking and Finance, Economic History, Economic Theory, Labour Economics.

Students with postgraduate qualifications equivalent to a Master's degree (in particular students holding the  Master in Economics and Finance)   may be admitted directly to the advanced course program, subject to approval by the PhD Director.

Current Students


PhD Students

Research interest



Admission: November 2015  

 Claudio Chino


Antonio Acconcia

 Francesco Caruso

 Game Theory

Jacqueline Morgan

 Filippo Di Iorio

 Economic History

Francesco Dandolo

 Roberta Messali

 Game Theory

 Lina Mallozzi


Admission: November 2016  

 Luca Coraggio

 Financial Economics

Marco Pagano

 Vittorio Di Somma

 Financial Economics

Emilia Di Lorenzo

 Ceesay Muhammad 

 Microeconomic Theory

Marco Pagnozzi

 Elisa Scarinzi

 Applied Microeconomics

Antonio Acconcia

 Niccolò Urbinati

 Microeconomic Theory

Maria Gabriella Graziano




Admission: November 2017 



Simone Chinetti


Antonio Acconcia

Luigi Gifuni



Amadou Jallow

Development Economics

Alberto Zazzaro

Carla Ronza


Antonio Acconcia

Marco Scaglione*


Massimo Aria

Federica Sica

Financial Economics

Emilia Di Lorenzo

Annalisa Tirozzi*


Edoardo Di Porto




*Progetto Dottorato Industriale