Why don't you repost your questions to the econ phd forum? There be a lot of people to answer your questions.
As an applicant to economics graduate schools with the chance of having a low GPA i'd say it just doesn't depend on your GPA. Weakness in one area of the application can be neutralized by strength in others. Like if your GRE score is good and your recommenders can vouche for you and account for your low GPA then you just might get in. The SOP is a factor as well.
Since you're only applying for terminal masters, your low GPA might not be as much as a factor than a phd application. IMO, it's a good idea to keep a few safeties in lower ranked schools.