Senior Seminars Description

FALL 2016
economics senior Seminar Descriptions

Seminars listed below are only open to CC and GS undergraduate economics majors.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL PREREQUISITES (Econ UN3211, UN3213, UN3412) must be successfully 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. 

DAYS, TIMES and CLASSROOMS can be found on the Registrar's DIRECTORY of CLASSES website:

GU4911 (Sec. 1) Seminar in MICROECONOMIC Theory
Instructor: Dr Sunil Gulati
Topic: Sports Economics
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.

GU4911 (Sec. 2)
Prof G. Chichilnisky will not be teaching her seminar, Globalization and its Risks.
Instructor: Prof Neal Masia
Topic: Public Policy, Economics and the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry accounts for nearly 20% of GDP in the United States.  This seminar will explore the links between major public policy events - for instance, healthcare reform or recent Medicare and Medicaid changes - and the financial prospects and implications for various healthcare industry sectors.  Lectures will examine how current and potential public policy decisions impact the bottom line and the behavior of key industry sectors including pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, nursing homes, and others.  Each student will conduct research on an industry sector and a live public policy or regulatory issue of their choosing.  Students will be expected to use their quantitative and analytic toolkit to evaluate how a key government policy (or potential policy within the health reform context) is likely to affect the industry's fortunes and behavior going forward, with implications for consumers, investors, and future policymakers.

GU4911 (Sec. 3)
Instructor: Prof Prajit Dutta
Topic: Economics of the Arts
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics majorThe 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.

GU4911 (sec. 4)
Instructor:Prof Tri Vi Dang
Topic: Private Equity & Hedge Fund Investing

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

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.

GU4911 (sec. 5)
Instructor: Prof Michael Riordan
Topic: Microeconomics in Theory and Practice
The seminar format combines readings, class discussions, and lectures to demonstrate how microeconomic analysis sheds light on contemporary policy issues for health care, financial, and telecommunications markets.

GU4911 (sec. 6) - May or May not be offered
Instructor: TBA
Topic: TBA
Description: TBA


GU4913 Seminar in MACROECONOMIC Theory (Sec. 1)
Instructor:  Prof Irasema Alonso
Topic: Topics in Modern Macroeconomics
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
The purpose of this seminar is to study some topics in macroeconomics using modern methodology: the economy is dynamic and described using standard microeconomic principles, including forward-looking consumers but also a range of market frictions. We will study some central policy questions. For example, does it matter if the government finances its expenditures with taxes or by borrowing? Should the government aim at a balanced budget? Are policy rules better than discretion? We will also study the core new business-cycle model and compare it to data. Unemployment will be studied based on explicit search frictions, allowing us to study the effects of unemployment insurance and other policies. We will then review asset pricing puzzles: why is the equity premium much higher in the data than in the standard consumption-based asset pricing model? This discussion will also involve the role of insurance frictions and precautionary saving for financial markets and asset prices. Finally, we will look into some topics in finance and consumer choice: what are the effects of world trade on financial markets? What is the optimal choice of stocks and bonds for different age groups?

GU4913 (Sec. 2)
Instructor: Dr Mauro Roca
Topic: International Financial Markets
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.The purpose of this seminar will be to study some topics on international macroeconomics with an emphasis in the functioning of financial markets. In particular, we will focus on the interaction between key macroeconomic variables and asset prices. After getting acquainted with the modern theoretical frameworks, the discussion will center around the empirical evidence and its several "puzzles."  The discussion will aim to answer questions of the following type: Do current account balances affect exchange rates? Are FX carry trades consistent with macroeconomic fundamentals? Is the yield curve determined by inflation expectations, the policy interest rate, or both? How important are fiscal conditions in determining sovereign credit spreads?

GU4913 (sec. 3)
Instructor: Dr Argia Sbordone
This seminar satisfies the seminar requirement for the financial economics major.
Topic: Monetary Policy since the Global Financial Crisis
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 conventional and unconventional policies implemented during the crisis and afterwards by the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world, and discuss their efficacy. The macroeconomic framework to understand the financial crisis and its effects will also be used to discuss the challenges posed by the current global economic environment to US outlook and monetary policy.