University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH) and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) offer a four-year joint programme leading to the internationally recognized degree of Doctorate. Candidates have opportunities to obtain a joint PhD degree from EUR, which ranks among the top 40 universities in the world, by QS World University Rankings in Economics & Econometrics in 2016. UEH and ISS has 25 years of successful collaboration that show in the Vietnam – the Netherlands program for Master of Science in Applied Economics (VNP). The success of the Master program led to the birth of this first Joint Doctorate Program in Vietnam.

Economics of Households, Firms and Institutions

The aim of this research line is to empirically establish the microeconomic effects of macroeconomic policies and developments.

We analyse

(a) The interaction between the institutional, social, cultural and economic environment in which firms, households and individuals operate, and their consumption decisions and investments in human and physical capital. This also includes the role of perceptual factors which may affect household economic decision-making, investment and risk taking, such as the fear of future violence and economic disruptions.

An important element is identifying the effect of government and NGO interventions at the individual and household level. Research in this area blends theoretical models and micro econometric analyses.

(b) The design, implementation and the effects of domestic and international macroeconomic, financial and trade policies on economic development and inequality. Relatedly this line deals with the impact of exogenous shocks, such as the impact of (civil) war or the financial crisis.

Work in this area is characterized by a desire to empirically establish the microeconomic effects of macroeconomic policies and developments. Of particular interest are the conditions for and impact of graduation from LDC to middle income status.

Health and Economic Development

This research line studies the complex relationship between health and economic development at the household and individual level.

We work on topics ranging from the economics of nutrition, health inequalities, risky behaviour to health financing.

We design and run rigorous impact evaluations of development interventions and health policies, as well as behavioural experiments. Recent examples include impact evaluations of Community Based Health Insurance schemes, nutrition policies and mobile health interventions.

Development Economics staff is involved in original data collection efforts and field experiments across the Global South in countries such as Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Indonesia, India. We are passionate about economic research of societal relevance.

The ISS-EUR’s health and development research group is also a founding member of the Rotterdam Global Health Initiative, a multi-disciplinary global health research and education network of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC. UEH’s group is running the Master program in Health Economics and Management at University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City.

Environmental and Resource Economics

Environmental and resource economics are the field of interest of many researchers from both ISS-EUR (Lorenzo Pellegrini, Elissaios Papyrakis) and UEH (Pham Khanh Nam, Truong Dang Thuy, Le Thanh Loan). At UEH, research on environmental and resource economics are academically, institutionally and financially supported by EfD-Vietnam which shares the same office building with the VNP. EfD-Vietnam is one of 12 Environment for Development (EfD) centers around the globe within an international network of environmental economics think tanks, EfD Initiative (

The research topics that we are currently focus on include (1) Economics of climate change, specifically sea level rise, natural disasters, and adaptation options for the Mekong delta, Red River delta, and big cities in Vietnam; (2) Green growth strategy with a focus on greening forestry sector, renewable energy and greening consumption; (3) Coastal and marine resource issues that contain coastal ecosystem services and inshore fishery and poverty reduction; and (4) Economics of industrial pollution e.g. understanding policy instruments and ecosystem and human health impacts of pollution control.

International Economics, Trade and Investment

This research line focuses on trade and investment to and from developing countries and emerging markets.

Our work focuses on trade and investment to and from developing countries and emerging markets and investigates the recent and imminent shifts in global patterns of production, trade and capital flows.

Increasingly research in this area involves micro data analysis to understand the world trade collapse, the risks of deglobalization, the crisis and its impact on developing countries. We also examine prospects for Southern engines of growth for the global South and the impact of socio-cultural factors such as exclusion and discrimination on trade and investment.

Labor and Educational Economics

These are two closely related fields that examine various aspects of the labor market, workforce development, education, and human capital. Key research topics in both areas include wage determination, unemployment, labor force  participation, labor market policies, human capital and skills, income inequality, labor market discrimination, labor market dynamics, labor market impact of technological change, worker well-being, education and economic growth, returns to education, educational access and equity, education quality, education policy evaluation, education and labor
market outcomes, and skills development and training.

These research topics in labor and educational economics are essential for understanding the dynamics of the labor market, workforce development, and the role of education in shaping individuals' economic opportunities and societal well-being. Researchers in these fields contribute to evidence-based policy recommendations for labor market interventions, education reform, and economic development strategies.

Development Economics

This research line focuses on understanding the economic processes and factors that contribute to the improvement of living standards, poverty reduction, and overall well-being in developing countries. Key research topics in development economics include economic growth, poverty and inequality, human capital development, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure and access to services, trade and globalization, governance and institutions, microfinance and financial inclusion, environmental and resource management, health issues, gender and development, migration and remittances, and conflict and development.

These research topics reflect the multidisciplinary nature of development economics, which draws from economics, sociology, political science, and other fields to address complex issues related to poverty, inequality, and economic progress in developing countries. Researchers are expected to provide evidence-based policy recommendations to improve the lives of people in the Global South.


All applicants to the Joint Doctorate Programme – JDP must fulfill the following academic requirements:

Academic background: MA/MSc degree, minimally at B+ level

English Proficiency: Good command of English (comparable to IELTS 7.0, TOEFL PBT 600, TOEFL CBT 250, TOEFL iBT 100 or full-time Master’s degree abroad with thesis written in English)


CV, motivation statement, references
Research proposal in line with research focus of ISS/EUR and UEH

Candidates who are successfully admitted to the JDP will be waived off fees from ISS/EUR and pay no tuition fees to UEH.

The doctorate degree certificates, with the indication of international joint supervision and cooperation of the two universities, will be awarded separately by Erasmus University Rotterdam and University of Economics HCMC


Please fill the Application Form and attach the required documents:

  • Scan copy of Academic Transcript
  • English language Certificate
  • CV/ Resume, Motivation statement
  • Research proposal
  • Two reference contacts

* Please indicate the reference contacts in the Application Form. JDP Admission Office will send The Reference Form to your referees. They should complete the form and send it to (you cannot send the references yourself).

* Application fee: 1.000.000 VNĐ


15 November 2024: Deadline for application

  • Phase 1 (1 year)

    Coursework and Thesis Proposal

    Advanced Microeconomics

    Development Economics

    Advanced Econometrics

    Reading course

    3 months at ISS

    Dissertation design seminar

  • Phase 2 (1 year)

    Conducting Thesis Research

    Data collection

    Data analysis

    Monitoring seminars

  • Phase 3 (1,5 years)

    Completing Thesis

    Mid-term seminar

    3 months at ISS

    Full Draft Dissertation Seminar

  • Phase 4 (0.5 year)

    Thesis Defense

    Public Thesis Defense at ISS

ISS’s Development Economics PhD supervisors

Dr. (Arjun) AS Bedi
Dr. (Peter) PAG van Bergeijk
Dr. (Mansoob) SM Murshed
Dr. E Papyrakis
Prof. (Lorenzo) L Pellegrini
Dr. M Rieger
Dr. (Irene) IP van Staveren
Dr. (Natascha) N Wagner

UEH’s School of Economics supervisors

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Trong Hoai
Dr. Truong Dang Thuy
Dr. Pham Khanh Nam
Dr. Le Thanh Loan
Dr. Nguyen Luu Bao Doan
Dr. Nguyen Hoai Bao
Dr. Ho Quoc Thong
Dr. Vo Tat Thang

Applicants are required to submit a research proposal of approximately 2,500 words which incorporates:

a statement of the research issue, setting out the temporal, geographic and conceptual limits of the work
the potential contribution of the research to theory and/or policy making
a concise formulation of the research issues
a brief review of the theoretical background and the main analytical approaches to be followed
a specification of the main expected methods of data collection and processing
references and bibliography

JDP Office

Address: Room H.304 |1A Hoang Dieu Street, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District, HCM


Phone: 028 38 452 712