Toulouse School of Economics: A global research hub for people-centred economics

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Contemporary challenges in the global financial crisis require the expertise of economists who can reimagine a new paradigm to anticipate and meet future developments of the market. They offer valuable analysis of markets, business models, and governance that unearth long-term and viable solutions the world sorely needs. Just ask Dr. Sophie Moinas, Professor of Finance at the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), whose role includes diffusing economic research outside of academia to reach decision-makers, students, and the general public.

“TSE has a tradition of long-term interactions with industrial partners and policymakers, which is in my view a clear differentiation factor relative to other economics departments of universities or business schools,” says the Director of TSE’s Sustainable Finance Centre.

Established in 2018, the Centre aims to promote innovative research on emerging issues in economics and finance. There are over 40 scholars working in various related fields towards that end, in addition to disseminating cutting-edge research findings on contemporary societal challenges around sustainable finance to firms, policymakers, and the wider public.

“Discussions with partners really feed our research interests — it is always more motivating to try to address an issue economic actors find sufficiently important to share with us,” adds Dr. Moinas. “Issues that are shared with our partners are also quite challenging; otherwise they would already have found a way to address them. This sparks our curiosity.”

Impactful solutions for the real world

Known as one of the best economics departments in Europe, TSE has emerged as a powerhouse of ideas pioneering interdisciplinary research providing solutions to critical economic and social issues over the past 40 years. It is among the top three beneficiaries in economics of the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) grants.

Today, it is listed among the top 10 economics departments worldwide according to the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) ranking, while the Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021 lists TSE in the top 25 universities worldwide for economics. TSE’s distinction as a premier economics school was further solidified when Jean Tirole, Honorary Chairman of TSE and the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2014.

TSE researchers maintain a continued dialogue with practitioners. With the support of a wide range of public and private partners, they explore new research areas and develop research projects directly connected to the concerns of society and decision-makers.

Toulouse School of Economics

TSE is known as one of the best economics departments in Europe. Source: Toulouse School of Economics

What is good has to be common” is the motto that serves as a powerful driving force behind TSE’s education and research. Students are not only exposed to a robust intellectual environment that gathers some of the world’s best experts in economics, they are primed for creative inquiry in finding new economic knowledge that transform communities for the better.

The newly formed Sustainable Finance Centre is a good example of how industry collaborations can reach a wider audience to connect research with real-world issues. The Centre’s projects focus on four core areas: Responsible Finance and Long-term Investments, Financial Technologies and Digital Markets, Financial Intermediaries and Regulation, as well as Financial Behaviours, Welfare and Markets (in)Efficiencies. Current partners and supporters include well-known institutions such as the Banque de France, the Banque centrale du Luxembourg and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the FIT IN Initiative.

Experiential, collaborative learning 

For students, the opportunity to experientially learn from the Centre’s network is immense. “The key benefits of the existence of the Centre and partnerships for TSE students are twofold. On the one hand, students in our PhD programmes are exposed to issues that are or may become topical,” explains Dr. Moinas. “This is invaluable, because it will enable them to work on topics that may have an impact both inside and outside of academia.” She adds that the TSE’s partnerships benefit undergraduate and master’s students in the professional tracks by making abstract concepts taught in class more concrete through real-world examples.

TSE’s strength in research development naturally trickles into its teaching, where students are guaranteed top-notch instructions by leading experts in their respective fields. It operates on the signature brand of “TSE-style economics,” which blends a broad range of academic interests with open curiosity to design tangible policy solutions. Its 2,500 students benefit directly from the theoretical and empirical expertise of TSE faculty through a scientific approach based on observation, experiments, statistics and advanced quantitative techniques.

International students looking to begin their journey at TSE can look forward to a welcoming atmosphere — the international master’s programme not only features academic specialisations in their second year; students also receive logistical assistance in terms of housing, airport pickups, career services, and French language courses to better immerse themselves in the local environment. Scholarships are also available from the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and TSE, as well as fee waivers for the TSE international master’s programme on the basis of academic and geographical criteria.

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