GATE 2021 Economics Syllabus (XH - C1) - Syllabus, Sample Questions, Exam Pattern, Best Books

Rahul Raj
Rahul RajPublished On: September 15, 2020 | GATE

The GATE 2021 exam is scheduled between 5th February to 14th February 2021. The following article will include all the information on the GATE 2021 Economics syllabus with the best books, sample questions, exam pattern, etc.

GATE Economics Syllabus

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)is a nationally conducted postgraduate entrance exam for admission into various programmes such as M.Tech, M.E, MS, PhD etc. For GATE 2021 exam, a new subject from the field of Humanities & Social Sciences and Environmental Science & Engineering named Economics, English, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Environmental Science, and Engineering, has been introduced.

In 2021, GATE will be conducted not only for admission to various postgraduate programmes in science and engineering but also for postgraduate programmes in Arts & Humanities and Environmental Science & Engineering. 

Candidates qualifying for the GATE 2021 exam will have the golden opportunity to pursue their favourite postgraduate courses in Arts & Humanities and Environmental Science & Engineering from different nationally reputable institutions such as IITs, NITs, and similar institutions.

This article contains all the details of the GATE 2021 Economics syllabus such as important topics, sample question papers, exam patterns, best books, etc. Check out all the details of the GATE 2021 Economics Exam in the sections below.

Complete Guide of  GATE 2021 Exam - Dates, Eligibility, How to prepare, Selection and More

Dates of GATE Examination:5th February, 6th February, 7th February,12th, February, 13th February, and 14th February 2021.

GATE 2021 Economics Syllabus 

Before you move towards the preparation strategy, you must get yourselves acquainted with the syllabus of GATE Economics. The syllabus comprises a total of seven topics, which then further include different numbers of sub-topics. 


Important Topics 

Sub Topics



  • Theory of Consumer Behaviour
  • Cardinal Approach and Ordinal
  • Approach
  • Consumer Preferences
  • Nature of the utility function
  • Marshallian and Hicksian
  • demand functions
  • Duality Theorem
  • Slutsky equation and Comparative Statics
  • Homogeneous and Homothetic Utility Functions 
  • Euler’s Theorem
  • The Theory of Revealed Preference
  • Weak Axiom of Revealed Preference and Strong Axiom of Revealed Preference
  • Theory of Production and Costs
  • Short-run and Long-run Analysis
  • Existence
  • Uniqueness and Stability of Market Equilibrium
  • Walrasian and Marshallian Stability Analysis
  • The Cobweb Model
  • Decision making under uncertainty and risk
  • Asymmetric Information
  • Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard
  • Theory of Agency costs
  • The Theory of Search
  • Non-Cooperative games
  • Constant sum game
  • Mixed Strategy & Pure Strategy
  • Bayesian Nash Equilibrium
  • SPNE
  • Perfect Bayesian Equilibria
  • Theory of the Firm
  • Market Structures
  • Competitive and Non-competitive equilibria and their efficiency properties
  • Structure-Conduct-Performance Paradigm
  • Factor Pricing: Marginal productivity
  • Theory of Distribution in Perfectly Competitive markets
  • Theory of Employment in Imperfectly Competitive Markets
  • Monopolistic Exploitation
  • General Equilibrium Analysis
  • Welfare Economics
  • Fundamental Theorems
  • Social Welfare Function
  • Efficiency Criteria: Pareto-Optimality



  • National Income Accounting
  • Closed Economy Concepts and Measurement and Open Economy Issues
  • Determination of output and employment
  • Classical & Keynesian Framework 
  • Theories of Consumption: Absolute Income Hypothesis
  • Relative Income Hypothesis
  • Life Cycle Hypothesis 
  • Permanent Income Hypothesis and Robert Hall’s Random Walk Model 
  • Investment Function Specifications
  • Dale Jorgenson’s Neoclassical Theory of Capital Accumulation and Tobin’s
  • Keynesian Stabilization Policies, (Autonomous) Multipliers and Investment Accelerator
  • Demand and Supply of Money
  • Components of Money Supply
  • Liquidity Preference and the Liquidity Trap
  • Money Multiplier 
  • Interest Rate determination
  • Central Banking, Objectives
  • Prudential Regulation
  • Quantitative Easing 
  • Commercial Banking,
  • Non-Banking Financial Institutions 
  • Capital Market and it's Regulation
  • Theories of Inflation and Expectations
  • Augmented Phillips Curve
  • Real Business Cycles 
  • Adaptive Expectations Hypothesis
  • Rational Expectation Hypothesis and its critique.
  • Closed Economy IS-LM Model and Mundell Fleming Model:
  • Monetary and Fiscal Policy Efficacy.
  • The Impossible Trinity.


Statistics, Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

  • Probability Theory
  • Concepts of probability 
  • Probability Distributions (Discrete and Continuous) 
  • Central Limit Theorem
  • Index Numbers and Construction of Price Indices, Sampling Methods & Sampling Distribution,
  • Statistical Inferences 
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Linear Regression
  • Models and the Gauss Markov Theorem 
  • Heteroscedasticity
  • Multicollinearity and Autocorrelation
  • Spurious regressions and Unit roots
  • Simultaneous Equation Models -Recursive and non-recursive
  • Identification Problem
  • Differential Calculus and its Applications,
  • Linear Algebra
  • Matrices
  • Applications of Cramer’s Rule 
  • Static Optimization
  • Problems and Applications 
  • Input-Output Model
  • Linear Programming
  • Difference equations and Differential equations with applications


International Economics

  • Theories of International Trade
  • International Trade under Imperfect Competition
  • Gains from Trade 
  • Terms of Trade
  • Trade Multiplier
  • Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers to trade
  • Dumping and Anti-Dumping Policies 
  • GATT, WTO and Regional Trade Blocks
  • Trade Policy Issues
  • Balance of Payments: Composition Equilibrium and Disequilibrium and Adjustment Mechanisms
  • Foreign Exchange Market and Arbitrage
  • Exchange rate determination
  • IMF & World Bank.


Public Economics

  • Market Failure and Remedial Measures: Asymmetric Information
  • Public Goods
  • Externality
  • Regulation of Market- Collusion and Consumers
  • Welfare
  • Public Revenue: Tax & Non-Tax Revenue
  • Direct & Indirect Taxes
  • Progressive and non-Progressive Taxation
  • Incidence and Effects of Taxation 
  • Public expenditure
  • Public Debt and its management 
  • Public Budget and Budget Multiplier
  •  Tax Incidence
  • Fiscal Policy and its implications
  • Environment as a Public Good
  • Market Failure
  • Coase Theorem
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis.


Development of Economics

  • Theories of Economic Development: Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, J.Schumpeter, W. Rostow 
  • Balanced & Unbalanced Growth 
  • Big Push Approach
  • Indicators of Economic Development: HDI, SDGs, MDGs
  • Poverty and Inequalities- Concepts and Measurement Issues
  • Social Sector Development 
  • Health
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Fertility
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Migration
  • Child Labor
  • Age Structure
  • Demographic Dividend 
  • Models of Economic Growth
  • Harrod-Domar
  • Solow
  • Ramsey
  • Technical progress- Disembodied & Embodied
  • Endogenous Growth Models.


Indian Economy

  • Economic Growth in India: Pattern and Structure
  • Agriculture
  • Industry & Services Sector: Pattern & Structure of Growth, Major Challenges
  • Policy Responses
  • Rural & Urban Development- Issues, Challenges & Policy Responses
  • The flow of Foreign Capital
  • Trade Policies
  • Infrastructure Development: Physical and Social
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Reforms in Land
  • Labour and Capital Markets
  • Poverty
  • Inequality & Unemployment
  • The functioning of Monetary Policy in India 
  • Fiscal Policy in the Indian context: Structure of Receipts and Expenditure
  • Tax reforms-Goods and Services Tax
  • Issues of Growth and Equity
  • Fiscal Federalism
  • Centre-State Financial Relations and Finance Commissions of India
  • Sustainability of Deficits and Debt
  • The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2003
  • Demonetization and aftermath
  • India’s balance of payments
  • Composition of India’s Trade
  • Competitiveness of India’s exports
  • India’s exchange rate policy

About GATE 2021 Economics Exam

In the GATE Economics paper, the candidate's ability to understand and interpret written information-skills which are important to research humanities and social sciences are tested. The segment will not test the language skills specifically in terms of grammar, vocabulary, etc. Rather, the examination focuses on the critical thinking and analysis of the text and its rhetorical and stylistic structure.

The GATE 2021 economics questions will test the candidate’s skills in the following areas:-

Reading Comprehension-  The ability to understand and answer complex language questions.

Expression- The questions about stylistic and rhetorical aspects of a short passage which corrects or modifies specific sentences.

Analytical reasoning- The ability to understand relationships and draw reasonable conclusions from the statements.

Logical reasoning- Critically thinking to evaluate or predict an argument, identify the principal and to back up arguments, to predict results etc.

Sample Question Papers for GATE 2021 Economics Paper

Preparing for an entrance exam with the help of some constrictive preparatory methods always involves solving sample question papers or a question paper from the previous year. Since the GATE Economics paper is a newly introduced paper, an attempt to solve a good number of sample questions will definitely help candidates to estimate their preparations before the exam date. To access the GATE 2021 Economics Paper Sample Questions, candidates need to click on the link below.

Click here for the Sample Questions for GATE 2021 Economics

Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme for GATE 2021 Economics Paper

Candidates who are willing to appear on the GATE 2021 economic paper must be aware of its examination pattern and marking scheme. Below is the detailed exam pattern and marking scheme followed for GATE 2021 Economics paper-

GATE Economics Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme:-

Name of the Section

Number of Questions 

Question Type

Mark Distribution

(Total Marks- 60)

Reading Comprehension

General Aptitude



(Multiple Choice Questions)

14 questions x 1 marks  = 14 marks




(Multiple Choice Questions)

10 questions x 2 marks  = 20 marks

Analytical reasoning



(Multiple Select Questions)

4 questions x 2 marks = 8 marks

Logical reasoning



(Numerical Answer Type)

6 questions x 1 marks = 6 marks



(Numerical Answer Type)

6 questions x 2 marks= 12 Marks

Best Books for GATE 2021 Economics

Some of the best GATE Economics books for the student's preparation are listed below, along with their author's name.

Best GATE Economics Books

Statistics and Econometrics 

Written by B. L. Agarwal

Public Finance

Written by S.K. Singh

UGC NET Economics

Written by Sunder Gopal Mishra

Indian Economy

Written by Mishra & Puri

International Trade 

Written by- Bo Sodersten

Micro Economics: Anna Koutsoyiannis

Written by H.L. Ahuja

Macro Economics Analysis by Edward Shapiro

Written by H.L. Ahuja

UGC-NET: Economics (Paper-III) Exam Guide

Written by Sanjay Kuma


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