Senior Seminars Description

FALL 2014 - Seminar Descriptions

Seminars listed below are only open to CC and GS undergraduate economics majors. All prerequisites (Econ W3211, W3213, W3412) must be completed before the seminar may be taken—not after and not concurrently, otherwise the seminar will not count towards the major. Check the CC/GS bulletin for all seminar prerequisites and details.  Scheduled days, times and classrooms can be found on the Registrar's Directory of Classes site: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/
 

W4911 (Sec. 1) Seminar in MICROECONOMIC Theory
Instructor: Prof Sunil Gulati
Topic: Sports Economics
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
This seminar will focus on an economic analysis of the sports industry.  Topics covered will include economics of sports leagues, the labor market for professional athletes, sports marketing and broadcasting, economic impact of teams & stadiums and antitrust policies. A number of guest speakers from the sports world (including the professional leagues and media industry) will be featured. One textbook and a number of separate readings will be assigned. Seminar students are expected to actively participate in class discussions, make an in class presentation of selected readings and of original work and write a term paper on an agreed upon topic.


W4911 (Sec. 2)
Instructor: Prof Graciela Chichilnisky
Topic: Globalization and its Risks
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
The world is being transformed by dramatic increases in flows of people, goods and services across nations. Globalization has the potential for enormous gains but is also associated to serious risks, both political and economic. Economic gains are related to industrialization and international commerce where industrial nations dominate, while the economic risks involve the global environment, poverty and the satisfaction of basic needs that affect in great measure the developing nations. Economic gains and risks are linked to a historical division of the world into the North and the South: the industrial and the developing nations. Political risks include global terrorism. Key to future evolution are: (1) the creation of new markets that trade privately produced public goods, such as knowledge and greenhouse gas emissions, as in the Kyoto Protocol; (2) the updating of the Breton Woods Institutions into new global institutions, involving the creation of a Knowledge Bank and an International Bank for Environmental Settlements.


W4911 (Sec. 3)
Instructor: Prof Tri Vi Dang
Topic: Hedge Fund Investing

** This seminar is ONLY OPENED to FINANCIAL ECONOMICS MAJORS, and satisfies the financial economics seminar requirement . **

Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
This seminar course discusses the economics of professional asset management with special focus on private equity and hedge fund investing. The aim of this seminar is to provide the students with the analytical skills and conceptual frameworks necessary to significantly deepen their understanding of asset management. The first part of the course examines how private equity funds and hedge funds as the two most prominent alternative investment vehicles are raised and structured. The second part of the seminar discusses the deal making of private equity managers as well as various investment strategies of hedge fund managers.
 

W4911 (sec. 4)
Instructor: Prof Caterina Musatti
Topic: Poverty, Inequality and Mobility
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
This seminar examines the nature, causes and effects (both individual and social) of poverty, inequality and income (im)mobility in the US and in other rich nations. Over the semester we will address questions like: What is poverty? Who are the poor? Is poverty transmitted from parents to children, like a genetic disease? If so, why? How important are parental income and wealth in shaping a child's future? Is the American dream alive and well? Why is inequality increasing in rich nations? Are public programs the answer or the question?

W4911 (sec. 5)
Instructor: Prof Michael Riordan
Topic: Microeconomics in Theory and Practice
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
Possible topics include: economics of Internet neutrality, security, and privacy; innovation, patenting and litigation; financial market regulation.  A more detailed description may come later.

W4911 (sec. 6)
Instructor: Prof Prajit Dutta
Topic: Economics of the Arts
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
The seminar will survey the art market. Readings will include exploration of the business model and common practices of for-profit art galleries and the primary and secondary markets for art sales. Art appraisals, auctions, art collectors and  art as investment will be discussed in detail.   Students will be required to attend an art auction.


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W4913 Seminar in MACROECONOMIC Theory (Sec. 1)
Instructor: Argia Sbordone
Topic: Monetary policy since the global financial crisis
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
This seminar analyzes the events of the financial crisis of 2007-08 and the ensuing Great Recession, focusing on the role played by monetary policy. In the course of the seminar we will analyze the conduct of monetary policy during and after the crisis and discuss the effects of conventional and unconventional measures adopted by the Federal Reserve and by other central banks around the world. We will also discuss the macroeconomic framework within which to understand the financial crisis and its effects, and analyze the current economic environment in the U.S. and the major world economies, with the associated policy challenges that it presents.

W4913 (Sec. 2)
Instructor: Prof Richard Clarida
Topic: International Monetary Economics
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
This seminar will focus on monetary policy in open economies with particular focus on the inter relationship among exchange rates, capital flows, fiscal policy, and monetary policy.  Format will combine lectures/ class discussion, and student presentations.  Requirement for the course will be a term paper on the post crisis monetary policy of a major central bank as well as class presentation of the paper.

W4913 (Sec. 3)
Instructor: Prof Ethan Ilzetzki
Topic: Fiscal Policy and the Macro-economy
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
The macroeconomic impact of fiscal policy is one of the most highly debated economic policy questions of our times. Did the 2009 stimulus package help save the U.S. from a great depression or merely saddle the country with debt? Were the austerity policies in the U.K. and the Eurozone necessary to maintain credibility with financial markets, or unnecessarily self-inflicted pain? Why was Greece forced to default on its debts, while Japan--with a far higher debt burden--continues to borrow at a steady rate. Should public debt be repaid through higher taxes or lower government spending? We will study theoretical frameworks that shed light on these questions. We will highlight how (neo-)Classical, (new-)Keynesian, and other modes of analysis might lead one to different conclusions. We will also review the empirical evidence on the effects of government spending, taxation, and public debt. Students will be evaluated based on (1) a seminar paper on a topic related to the course material, (2) a class presentation, and (3) attendance and active participation.

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W4918 ECONOMETRICS Seminar
Instructor: Dr Emanuel Moench
Topic: Topics in Macro-Finance
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
Day/Time/Classroom: can be found on the Registrar’s Directory of Class site (see above)
We will study the linkages between macroeconomic aggregates and equity as well as bond markets. Benchmark cross-sectional pricing models including the CAPM, the Intertemporal CAPM, the Arbitrage Pricing Theory and variants thereof will be discussed. We will be particularly interested in the empirical support for these models. This will involve learning how to use some of the standard estimation methods commonly employed in asset pricing research. We will further study popular models of bond pricing such as affine models and their extensions including macroeconomic factors. This will allow us to discuss the joint modeling of macroeconomic dynamics, monetary policy, and government bond yields. The above models are primarily used to explain and predict asset prices using macroeconomic factors. To complement these analyses we will also explore the predictive content of equity and bond markets for macroeconomic aggregates. This will involve, among other things, discussion of news shock models as well as the empirical evidence regarding the predictive power of yield spreads for real activity and inflation.

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