Master Seminar in Law, Business & Economic Policy

Master Seminar 2017 in Washington, D.C.


This course is considered to be a highlight of the Summer School in Law, Business and 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 and New York University and discuss the results.

This mini conference 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 possibly in New York (UN).

Part of the students’ expenses will be covered.

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 PhD students).

Enrollment is necessary in 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.


Application to no later than 3 July 2017.

We start early in order to give the students more time to write the seminar paper.
The presentation will take place in the U.S. in the beginning of the spring semester (FS) of 2018.

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. For details see

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 for your research.
Topics should either include comparative aspects (USA , Europe, Switzerland), or integrate business and economics aspects or be based in the area of law and economics (for examples see also the list of accepted topics of former seminars).

You will be informed by mid of July 2017 (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.


3 July 2017:

Application deadline.

Mid of July 2017:

Acceptance or rejection of the application.

August 2017:

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’.

End of November 2017:

Written seminar paper to be handed in.

December 2017:

Students which 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.

4 - 13 February 2018:

Seminar in the U.S. (Washington D.C. and New York City).

Administrative Matters

Students are responsible for their travel arrangements, visa, etc. and have to be present from the first day of the seminar to the final day. Students can, of course, prolong their stay if they like (at own expenses).

Students will be provided free lodging and some of the meals during the seminar.
Students will receive an allowance of CHF 500 to cover part of their expenses for the flight and incidentals. Flights have to be organized and paid for independently.

The student with the best overall performance will get an additional 1000 CHF. This student will be determined by Prof. R. Weder and Prof. J. Macher (with inputs from the other participating colleagues of GTU).

Letzte Änderung: 14.06.2017