This seminar 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.

Traditionally, students travel in spring semester for 10 days to Washington D.C. and New York City. They present their seminar papers in front of an international audience and visit international institutions.

Fall Semester 2022

8 - 10 August 2022Individual meetings with Prof. Weder (approx. 30 minutes)
Students discuss feedback to the proposal and the current stage of their seminar paper.
5 October 2022; 15:00 - 18:00

First meeting of the seminar group.
Part I: Students will present their current work (5-10 minutes each, including feedback).
Part II: Current plan for the U.S. Master Seminar | Organizational Matters

30 November 2022, 12:00 (noon)

The complete seminar paper has to be submitted.
Prof. Weder and Prof. Macher will go through your seminar papers. In case, of a clearly insufficient paper, students will be informed by mid-December that they are not admitted to the second half of the seminar (i.e., excursion to the U.S.).


Spring Semester 2023

5 - 15 February 2023U.S. Excursion

Traditionally, the excursion starts with a one-week-long stay in Washington D.C. - the capital of the United States, followed by a four-day stay in New York City.

In this seminar, you can choose your own topic. Business as well as economic topics are most welcome.

In case you have a hard time in finding your "own" topic or question that serves as a basis to hand in a research proposal Prof. Weder is happy to assist you on this. For more details, please see "Possible topics on innovation".

Accepted topics in former seminars

2022 seminar  
2021 seminar

A clear and logical structure is essential for a scientific paper. Depending on the research topic, a different structure might seem more appropriate. Please see the "Formal Requirements" for more details.

The regular application period has expired. For late applications, please submit a research proposal (3-4 pages) by email, 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.

In case you have a hard time in finding your "own" topic or question that serves as a basis to hand in a research proposal Prof. Weder is happy to assist you on this. For more details, please see "Possible topics on innovation". The accepted topics in former seminars (2022 and 2021) may also also give you an indication of the diverse range of topics that are possible.

A maximum of 20 students will be admitted to the seminar. You will be informed by mid-July 2022 (for late applications afterwards), whether you have been admitted to the master seminar. In August 2022, you will have an individuel meeting (approx. 30 minutes) with Prof. Weder. You will discuss the feedback to your proposal and the current stage of your seminar paper.

Students present the current work of their research proposal in October 2022. The complete seminar paper has to be submitted latest by end of November and will be presented in a seminar setting at Georgetown University or New York University at the beginning of the spring semester 2023. Students' papers will be graded jointly by Prof. Weder and Prof. Macher with support from discussants at Georgetown University and New York University.

Students have to be present and active in all sessions and visits to the institutions (think tanks and international organizations).

The final grade is based on the following weights:

  • seminar paper: 60%
  • presentation: 30%
  • discussion as well as the overall contribution in the seminar and the visits to the institutions: 10%.

The seminar is jointly offered by Prof. Rolf Weder (University of Basel) and Prof. Jeffrey Macher (Georgetown University). During the presentations of the seminar papers, other faculty members join the seminar and act as discussant.

2022 Award

The best performance in the master seminar "Law, Business and Economic Policy" is rewarded with CHF 1'000.

In the 2022 seminar the top 5 performances were extremely close together, as at the current Olympics. We decided to give the top three an award which were only a few hundredths of a grade apart. As Prof. Macher added, all three got the gold medal!

The award was given to Ms. Angelina Ilyukhina for her research paper on "Assessing Risks of Collusive Behavior when Firms use Blockchain", Mr. Andrey Shmelev for his research paper on "Do Cryptocurrencies Facilitate Tax Evasion? An Economic Analysis Based on the U.S. and Swiss Tax Regulation"and to Ms. Ann-Kathrin Störr for her research paper on"Applying a Floor Price for Flight Tickets – The Way to Fight Climate Change?". Congratulations!

You will be provided free lodging and some of the meals during the seminar. Additionally, you will receive an allowance of a maximum of CHF 700 to cover part of your expenses for the flight.

You are responsible for your travel arrangements (i.e. flight etc.), 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).

Moreover, the best overall performance in the seminar is rewarded with CHF 1'000.