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.

There will be a hybrid orientation event on 23 May 2023; 18:15 - 18:45 (Seminar room S13, Peter Merian-Weg 6).  Former students will report about there experiences and Prof. Weder will be available for questions.

If you can't make it in person, join us via Zoom.

Fall Semester 2023

August 2023Individual meetings with Prof. Weder (approx. 30 minutes)
Students discuss feedback to the proposal and the current stage of their seminar paper.
3 October 2023,14:15 - 17:00

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 2023, 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 2024

4 - 14 February 2024U.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 "Current ideas for topics".

Accepted topics in former seminars

2023 seminar
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 runs from 15 May 2023 to 12 June 2023.

In addition to the online application, 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.

Students present the current work of their research proposal in October 2023. 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 2024. 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.

2023 Award Winners

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

In the 2023 U.S. Master Seminar the happy couple  - Lisa and Marvin  - both receive the Gold Medal for best performance!

The award was given to Ms. Lisa Jeambrun for her research paper on "Does Sustainability Have an Influence on Mergers and Acquisitions? Reasons for Considering the Green Factor and Analysis of Target Integration in the Post-Merger Company" and to Mr. Marvin Geiger for his research paper on "An Analysis of the Effect of Corporate Income Taxes on Debt Levels. A Comparison between Switzerland and the United States". 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.

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Studium Generalis)
Module: Research Design in Business and Economics

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: Data Science and Compuational Economics)
Module: General Electives in Data Science and Computational Economics

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: Economics)
Module: Research Design in Economics

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: Finance, Controlling and Banking)
Module: Research Design in Finance, Controlling, Banking

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: International Business, Trade, and the Environment)
Module: Research Design in International Business, Trade and the Environment

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: Labor Economics, Human Resources and Organization)
Module: Research Design in Labor Economics, Human Resources and Organization

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: Marketing and Strategic Management)
Module: Research Design in Marketing and Strategic Management

Master's Studies: Business and Economics (Specialization: Monetary Economics and Financial Markets)
Module: Research Design in Monetary Economics and Financial Markets

Master's Studies: Business and Technology
Module: Preparation Master's Thesis in Business and Technology

Master's Studies: Economics and Public Policy
Module: Preparation Master's Thesis in Economics and Public Policy

Master's Studies: European Global Studies
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Handel und Unternehmen in der Globalisierung
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Regional Integration and Global Flows

Master's Studies: Finance and Money
Module: Preparation Master's Thesis in Finance and Money