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Senior Seminar Descriptions

FALL 2020

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 majorCheck 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 (www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/) 

: This semester ALL seminars will be open to all Econ, Fin Ec and Econ-Math majors, and all seminars will satisfy the seminar requirement for the Financial Economics major.

GU4911 (Sec. 1) MICROECONOMICS Seminar
Instructor: Prof. Sunil Gulati
Day/Time: Wed. 4:10 – 6:00pm
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) MICROECONOMICS Seminar

Instructor: Prof. Prajit Dutta
Day/Time: Mon. 6:10 – 8:00pm
Topic: Economics of the Arts
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.

GU4911 (Sec. 3) MICROECONOMICS Seminar

Instructor: Dr Neal Masia
Day/Time: Mon. 12:10 – 2:00pm
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. 4) MICROECONOMICS Seminar

Instructor: Prof. Tri Vi Dang
Day/Time: Tues. 10:10am – 12:00pm
Topic: Private Equity & Hedge Fund Investing
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.

(No GU4911 Sec 5)

GU4911 (Sec. 6) MICROECONOMICS Seminar

Instructor: Prof. Graciela Chichilnisky
Day/Time: Wed. 2:10 – 4:00pm
Topic: Globalization and its Risks
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.


GU4913 (Sec. 1) MACROECONOMICS Seminar
Instructor: Dr. Ronald Miller
Day/TimeThurs. 12:10am – 2:00pm
Topic: Inequality   
Income and wealth inequality have been rising for the last 40-50 years in almost all rich countries; that rise has been especially pronounced in the United States.  This seminar will focus on characterizing changing inequality, including comparisons across countries.  We will also address the causes and consequences of rising inequality.  The focus will be heavily empirical.

GU4913 (Sec. 2) MACROECONOMICS Seminar

Instructor: Prof. Tamrat Gashaw
Day/TimeTues. 2:10\pm – 4:00pm
Topic: Topics in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Based Investing   
This course is a senior level course on specific topics in Economics and Finance. The purpose of this seminar is to study some topics in Sustainable Economics and Finance/Investing using current empirical researches in the area. In this seminar, topics that are covering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) indicators, both at macro- and micro-levels will be covered. Topics on ESG include corporate social responsibility, sustainable investing, performance of companies that pay attention to sustainability indicators, such as diversity in management/board, worker’s happiness, and pollution/environmental issues, will be covered. In particular, questions like: 1) Do companies that pay attention to sustainability (triple-bottom line) outperform others or the market portfolio? 2) Can welfare be enhanced if Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing is followed?  3) Does resource scarcity in the long run imply companies to follow ESG based investing? 4) Does social pressure lead to ESG based resource allocation? and so on..

GU4913 (Sec. 3) MACROECONOMICS Seminar

Instructor: Prof. Andres Drenik
Day/TimeMon. 10:10am – 12:00pm
Topic: Empirical Macroeconomics   
This seminar will explore recent advances made in empirical macroeconomics. The goal will be to bring frontier econometric methods from other fields in economics in order to test the mechanisms behind macro theory. The list of topics includes: consumption/savings decisions, the effects of monetary and fiscal policy on the real economy, the role of the financial sector during the Great Recession, the determinants of the nominal exchange rate and its relationship with rest of the economy. Within each topic, we will briefly discuss the theory to guide us through the exploration of empirical research.


1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
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