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 of the seminar 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 and New York University and discuss the results.


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. For examples, see also the list of accepted topics of former seminars.


A maximum of 20 students will be admitted to the seminar.

Assessment details

Students have to present the current work of their research proposal on 12 October. The  complete seminar paper has to be submitted latest by November 30, 2021: 12:00 (noon) and will be presented in a seminar setting at Georgetown University or New York University at the beginning of the spring semester 2022. 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%.

Follow the students of the US Seminar in February 2020 on Instagram

Fall Semester

August 2021

Individual meetings with Prof. Weder (approx. 30 minutes)
Students discuss feedback to the proposal and the current stage of their seminar paper.

12 October 2021, 14:15 - 17:00

First meeting of the seminar group. Students will present their current work (5-10 minutes each, including feedback). In addition, organizational questions will be adressed.

30 November 2021, 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

6 - 15 February 2022: US Excursion

Traditionally, the excursion starts with a one-week-long stay in Washington D.C. - the capital of the United States. Our host - the McDonough School of Business - is part of Georgetown University - the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States. The mornings are generally dedicated to the presentations of the seminar papers. In the afternoons the group will visit international organizations such as the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, national organizations such as the Anti-Trust Division of the Department of Justice and think tanks like CATO and Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The second part of the journey takes us to New York City, where more seminar papers are presented at the New York University. We use the stay in the city to visit more institutions like the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.