This course is considered to be a highlight of the Summer School in Law, Business & Economic Policy, in particular, and of the MSc in Business and Economics, in general.

The target is to give master students an opportunity to write an own paper in English (that may be considered to be a first step towards the master’s thesis), to present the conclusions to an international audience of researchers at Georgetown University or New York University and discuss the results.

The seminar allows to establish contacts with professors and students at Georgetown University and New York University and is also embedded in a program that includes visits to and discussions with high-level representatives of well-known institutions in Washington DC (e.g. IMF, Worldbank, Peterson Institute, Cato Institute, Department of Justice, Swiss Embassy) and in New York (e.g. Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the United Nations).

There is an award to be given for the best performance in the seminar.

General Information

Students have to be enrolled in the Master of Science of Business and Economics of the University of Basel (exceptions are possible, for example for Ph.D. students).

Enrollment is necessary for the fall semester (writing the paper) and the spring semester (presentation and visits to the institutions).

Past enrollment in a course at the Summer School in Law, Business and Economic Policy at the Faculty of Business and Economics is an asset, but not mandatory to be accepted to the seminar.



Please submit a research proposal (3-4 pages) in which you explain your idea, the main research question and how you intend to answer the question. You should mention a possible theory that may help to find an answer and describe the empirical analysis (do you intend to do a case study or do you want to analyze data you have identified?). Name three to four important pieces of the literature that is relevant to your research.
Attractive topics, for example, include a comparison of regulations, policies or institutions (in the USA, Europe, Switzerland). They may integrate business and economic aspects or be based in the area of law and economics. We are very open regarding the topics, but reward quality and originality. For examples, see also the list of accepted topics of former seminars.

You will be informed by 16 July 2019 (for late applications afterwards), whether you are accepted to the master seminar. A maximum of 20 students will be admitted to the seminar.

Individual meetings are planned with Prof. Rolf Weder in August or September to discuss feedback to the proposal and the current stage of the seminar paper.



7 May 2019, 17:00 - 18:00 (S15, Faculty of Business and Economics, Peter Merian-Weg 6)
Orientation Event with Prof. Weder and former students.

5 July 2019
Application deadline.
Applications handed in by 5 July will all be assessed at the same time.
Applications after 5 July are possible and will be considered if the seminar is not full.

16 July 2019
Acceptance or rejection of the application.
For late applications: students will be informed within 2-3 weeks.

August 2019
Meeting with Prof. Rolf Weder for discussion of and input to the research proposal and current stage of seminar paper: students register by themselves in individual slots of 30’.

October 2019
Pre-Seminar Meeting

2 December 2019, 12:00 (noon)
The written seminar paper has to be submitted.

16 December 2019
Students who unexpectedly have handed in a clearly insufficient paper will be informed by Prof. Rolf Weder and Prof. Jeffrey Macher that they are not admitted to the seminar in the U.S.

2 – 11 February 2020
Seminar in the U.S. (Washington D.C. and New York City).



Free lodging and some of the meals during the seminar will be provided to all students.
You will receive an allowance of CHF 500 to cover part of your expenses for the flight and incidentals.

You are responsible for your travel arrangements, visa, etc. and have to be present from the first day of the seminar to the final day. You can, of course, arrive ahead of time or prolong your stay if you like (at own expenses).

Award for Best Performance

The student with the best overall performance will obtain additional 1'000 CHF. The Award for Best Performance will be determined by Prof. R. Weder and Prof. J. Macher (with inputs from the other participating colleagues of GTU and NYU).

Award 2019

Award 2018

Award 2017

Award 2016