Living economics

Economics can be a force for good in the world

In 1979 Jean-Jacques Laffont, world-class economist, returned to his hometown Toulouse from the USA. Visionary and entrepreneurial as he was, his dream was to combine the best of his different worlds to create a new model in France: an internationally renowned school of economics within a public university.

As Jean-Jacques used to say, “Toulouse, c’est mon Amérique à moi”. And so he gathered around him a strong group of like-minded colleagues committed to academic excellence, all determined for economics to have a real impact on society and everyday lives.

These so-called “économistes de Toulouse” steadily laid the foundations for what, 30 years later, has become Toulouse School of Economics, a thriving world-renowned center for research in economics chaired by Nobel laureate Jean Tirole.

TSE strives to:

  • provide solutions to today’s key economic and social issues
  • promote excellence in research & higher education
  • encourage pioneering interdisciplinary research
  • connect research to policy, in France, Europe and worldwide
  • implement highest international standards in its own governance

A world-class research center in economics, connected to policy

The award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Jean Tirole in 2014 came as a great recognition for TSE’s achievements in its relatively short lifetime. Many other accomplishments make us proud, including a record-breaking number of European Research Council grants, top publications, high rankings and impactful recruitments.

Laboratory TSE-R has always fostered an academic environment that nurtures a diverse range of international talent and expertise. We pride ourselves on attracting the best and the brightest to Toulouse from leading US and European institutions.

While TSE’s unique atmosphere is hard to define, there is a palpable sense of a “TSE- style economics”. Based on a broad range of academic interests and a deep sense of curiosity, open mindedness and an engrained culture of collaborative work, our approach is coupled with an appetite for tackling real-world problems and generating deployable policy solutions.

World-class education in economics

Our competitive international higher education programs within the University of Toulouse pioneer a novel approach to higher education in France. 

While the core focus is economics, our courses taught by internationally renowned faculty are multidisciplinary and concentrate on the role that data and quantitative techniques play in decision-making in firms, institutions or states. Mathematical modelling helps develop rigorous reasoning in complex situations and statistical and quantitative methods help to assess the impact of strategy changes and policy reforms. 

A wide network of partners and a professional careers service guarantee high-level international job opportunities for our graduates.  

In sum, our research-oriented courses train our students to master and adapt recent theories and techniques to solve the real-world challenges of their future employers.

Our education programs are overseen by the TSE Dean Stéphane Gregoir

We are proud to benefit from the French IDEFI label for excellence and innovation in higher education. 


Connecting our research to the real-world stakes of companies and institutions

Right from the start, making sure our economics have a real impact on society and everyday lives has been one of our main goals. Our close collaborations with industry and policy over the past thirty years have helped us become one of the world's top research centers in economics. Similarly, our long-term partners have benefited over the years from the specialized economic analyzes of our faculty. These exchanges are crucial so that the Toulouse economics may test and refine their theories through real-world issues encountered by economic actors. Jean Tirole's work on regulation, rewarded in 2014 by the Nobel committee, is a significant example of the result of this tradition of partnership research.


  • Creation of GREMAQ (research laboratory in mathematical economics) by Jean-Jacques Laffont


  • Creation of the IDEI (Industrial Economics Institute)


  • Inauguration of the “Manufacture des Tabacs” campus


  • Creation of The Toulouse School of Economics


  • Creation of the Jean-Jacques Laffont-TSE foundation
  • Launch of TSE’s 1st fundraising campaign



  • TSE is awarded the certificate of ‘laboratory of excellence’ (LABEX)


  • Nobel Prize awarded to Jean Tirole


  • Launch of the Chaire numérique Jean-Jacques Laffont


  • Launch of TSE’s 2nd fundraising campaign
  • Creation of TSE-R, mixed research unit (UMR)