Seminars

The following is an indicative list. Not all courses are necessarily offered every academic year; and the program may be enriched with further courses when appropriate and feasible.

See all courses offered in current and former semesters in the online course catalogue QIS.

Money Seminars

A bubble is an asset which trades at a price above its fundamental value. Classical examples are fiat money or a bond with infinite maturity which never pays any dividends which both have a fundamental value of zero. Further examples are governmental debt rolled over indefinitely and even pure pay-as you go systems of Social Security. An intriguing question is whether and how bubbles can emerge in models with perfectly rational investors under perfect foresight and under which conditions this happens. A second set of questions refers to the welfare implications and how the emergence of a bubble affects macroeconomic variables like investment, employment, and growth. The goal of this seminar is to discuss a number of classical and more recent models which address these and related problems.

Seminar Topics 

Following is the list of seminar topics. The reference(s) in brackets should serve as the main source for your seminar paper. In addition, you should also look at additional references, e.g., those cited in the main paper to put the topic and results into a broader perspective. Finally, when describing the model and results you should not just copy the equations and formulae but instead try to add further explanations and derivations not explicitly given in the original paper whenever possible. 

1.       Asset Bubbles in OLG Models with Production (Tirole (1985)) 

2.       Confidence and the Real Value of Money in an OLG Economy (Weil (1987))

3.       Temporary Monetary Bubbles (Michel & Wigniolle (2003)) 

4.       Bubbles in OLG Models of Pure Exchange (Magill & Quinzii (2003)) 

5.       Asset Bubbles in the Presence of Borrowing Constraints (Kunieda (2008)) 

6.       Bubbles and Speculative Growth (Caballero, Farhi & Hammour (2006)) 

7.       Bubbles and Economic Growth (Martin & Ventura (2012)) 

8.       A Leverage-based Model of Speculative Bubbles (Barlevy (2015)) 

9.       Speculative Bubbles and Financial Crises (Wang & Wen (2012)) 

10.   Asset Bubbles, Collateral, and Policy Analysis (Miao, Wang & Zhou (2015)) 

11.   Stock Market Bubbles and Employment (Miao, Wang & Xu (2016)) 

12.   Banking Bubbles and Financial Crisis (Miao & Wang (2015))

Depending on the number of participants, presentations will be delivered individually or by groups of two or up to three participants 

The theory of capital is connected with distribution theory in several ways. The value of capital depends on the level of distribution between profits and wages in a manner complicated in the general case, but needs to be simple and special, if the neoclassical theory of distribution is to hold. This connection leads to the critique of capital theory, which was the subject of hot debates in the 1960s and 70s and which has taken a new turn recently. At a less abstract level, all theories of distribution must be developed in the context of capital accumulation, which depends primarily on the rate of investment according to Keynesian theory, but also on savings behaviour. The seminar will address these theoretical issues. Moreover, several papers will examine the change of distribution relationships over time empirically, and in particular the increasing concentration of wealth.

Since being first introduced in the form of Bitcoin in 2009, interest in the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in particular has skyrocketed. Bitcoin achieved a market capitalization exceeding $300bn in December 2017, and thousands of altcoins arising. At the same time, alternative applications of the blockchain technology is currently being explored in areas as diverse as supply-chain management, land registry or voting systems.

This seminar aims to deepen our understanding of the blockchain technology, its promise and challenges, with a focus on technological, privacy-related and financial viewpoints. Students will work on the different research topics and apply theoretical as well as empirical research methodologies like systematic literature reviews or quantitative user studies. Students will be working individually or in groups.

Topics

  • Smart Contracts
  • Consensus Protocols and Proof-of-Stake
  • Cryptocurrencies as an Asset Class
  • Anonymity & Privacy in the Bitcoin Ecosystem

This interdisciplinary seminar examines the purchasing programs of important central banks (Eurozone, UK, Switzerland, Japan, U.S.). It covers the embedding of these programs within monetary policy, the conditions and extent of the programs as well as an analysis of the effects. From a legal perspective, the underlying central bank laws will be covered and compared. Furthermore, certain economic questions, especially pertaining to the effects of the programs will be examined.

This seminar is held in german.

This seminar is held in german.

This seminar is held in german.

Im Rahmen des Seminares sollen sich die Studierenden der Fachbereich 01 und 02 weitgehend selbständig ein wissenschaftliches Thema erarbeiten. Dadurch sollen ihre Kenntnisse und Fähigkeiten bezüglich einer sinnvollen rechts- und wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Arbeitsweise vertieft werden. Ein wichtiges Ziel ist das Erlernen der Fähigkeit, komplizierte Sachverhalte übersichtlich und verständlich darzustellen und zu präsentieren. Weiterhin soll die Kompetenz geschult werden, Diskussionen über rechts- und wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Themen in einer differenzierten Form zu führen. Zudem soll den Studierenden ein erster Einblick in die Interdisziplinarität des Themenfeldes ermöglicht werden.

  1. Das Europäische Finanzaufsichtssystem ESFS (European System of Financial Supervi-sion) - Überblick und Darstellung seiner Aufgaben und Befugnisse (jur)
  2. Die Bedeutung des European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bei der Rekapitalisierung von Banken (jur/ökon)
  3. Die Gründe für die Schaffung der Europäischen Bankenunion (jur/ökon)
  4. Grundkonzeption der Europäischen Bankenunion – Darstellung und kritische Würdigung (jur)
  5. Bankenaufsicht durch Notenbanken – Vorteile und Nachteile (jur/ökon)
  6. Darstellung des einheitlichen Europäischen Aufsichtsmechanismus (Single Supervisory Mechanism - SSM) (jur/ökon)
  7. Vereinbarkeit der Verordnung zur Übertragung von Aufgaben in der Aufsicht über Kredit-institute auf die Europäische Zentralbank (VO EU 1024/2013) mit Art. 127 Abs. 6 AEUV (jur)
  8. Das Erfordernis demokratischer Leitung, Verantwortlichkeit und Kontrolle im Hinblick auf die Unabhängigkeit von Einrichtungen der Bankenaufsicht (jur)
  9. Das Verhältnis der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) zur Europäischen Aufsichtsbehörde (European Banking Authority - EBA) (jur)
  10. Makroprudenzielle Aufsicht über Banken in Europa – Institutionen, Instrumente und Ver-fahren (jur/ökon)
  11. Der einheitliche europäische Abwicklungsmechanismus (SRM) (jur/ökon)
  12. Sicherung der Zahlungsfähigkeit des Single Resolution Fund (SRF) durch staatliche Ga-rantien (jur/ökon)
  13. Die Schaffung einer Europäischen Einlagensicherung (European Deposit Insurance Sys-tem - EDIS) als dritte Säule der Bankenunion (jur/ökon)
  14. Verantwortlichkeit der Zentralbanken für die Finanzstabilität? (jur/ökon)

This seminar deals with the incorporation of housing consumption and homeownership choice in quantitative macroeconomic models with heterogeneous households. Utilizing such model tools allows researchers to study: (i) the economic determinants of homeownership, and (ii) the consequences of various policy changes in the housing market for household welfare and inequality. Most studies of housing in macroeconomics concentrate on the United States. Next to reviewing those studies, we are going to take a look at quantitative models aiming to understand housing markets in European countries. The macroeconomic models usually rely on collateral constraints, incomplete markets and transaction costs as key ingredients. Such frictions in the housing market are empirically justified and leave room for public policy interventions.

The seminar discusses macroeconomic models designed to study monetary policy and its impact on real and financial variables. Specific questions to be addresses are: How does monetary policy affect monetary variables such as prices, interest rates, and governmental debt? Can it be used to foster economic growth and increase real variables such as output, wages, and employment? What are the mutual interdependencies between monetary and fiscal policy? Which objectives should monetary policy pursue? What are the welfare cost of inflation? Seminar topics are based on the two major workhorses of modern macroeconomics in this field: First, the New Classical framework which assumes price-taking behavior of all market participants combined with perfect price flexibility on all markets. Second, the New Keynesian models which incorporate various frictions such as monopolistic competition and/or staggered price adjustments. In recent years, the New Keynesian approach has become the dominant framework used at central banks to guide decisions on monetary policy.

The seminar is designed for advanced master students in their third or higher semester who have a strong interest in economic theory and mathematical model building. It is therefore tailor-made for students who took the course "Monetary Policy, Inflation, and Business Cycles".

In this seminar, we will analyze how monetary policy affects financial markets. We will do so by presenting and discussing recent papers from the fast-growing literature on the effects of monetary policy decisions, market participants anticipation and central banks communication thereof on bond, equity, foreign exchange and other markets.

This course is organized in three parts: First, we discuss the theoretical foundations of business ethics, that is, (political) CSR and corporate citizenship, transnational legal theory, and the business and human rights debate. Second, we study some of the most important transnational multi-stakeholder CSR initiatives such as the U.N. Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In the third and main part of the seminar, our focus is on a variety of case studies ranging from banks and human rights, to conflict minerals, and the ethical issues of the mining, palm oil, and textile industries – to name a few.

The seminar deals with the macroeconomics of income and wealth inequality. The major questions to be studies are: (i) which mechanisms generate the observed inequality among households, and, (ii) what is the role of public policy with respect to these inequalities. To tackle these questions, we are going to review recent developments in the literature of heterogeneous agent dynamic macroeconomic models. The quantitative economic models feature households who differ from each other in terms of luck and/or innate factors such as ability to learn or produce in the labor market and initial asset positions. Due to these differences and the consequent household decisions, the models generate different patterns of income, wealth and consumption inequality

Topics

The workhorse economic models of the macroeconomics of income and wealth inequality are based on the literature on exogenously incomplete markets. The majority of the studies listed in the topics use a version of this framework. It is highly recommended that seminar participants go over all the materials in the introductory list below in order to get familiar with the basic framework and its applications.

In this course we will study macro models in which finance, banking and crises play a crucial role in the transmission of shocks. We will consider models in which financial markets are not complete, which results from the presence of asymmetric information among market participants, limited participation and/or oligopolistic competition in the banking sector. We will explore the role of banking panics and financial crises in general for the dynamic of the macroeconomy and for optimal policy. We will also consider the role of complexity in determining systemic risk.

Corporate governance. Whistle blowing

CEO compensation and stock performance

Lobby and banking

Gender and corporate governance

Miscellaneous

This seminar deals with theoretical and empirical aspects of economic growth with a special focus on specialization in production, automation of production and (partial or complete) substitution of factor inputs. Traditional models of economic growth have not adequately considered these aspects of development, structural change and transition. Therefore, new models have been developed that should be able to account for these characteristics of modern economic growth.

The seminar discusses macroeconomic models designed to study monetary policy and its impact on real and financial variables. Specific questions to be addresses are: How does monetary policy affect monetary variables such as prices, interest rates, and governmental debt? Can it be used to foster economic growth and increase real variables such as output, wages, and employment? What are the mutual interdependencies between monetary and fiscal policy? Which objectives should monetary policy pursue? What are the welfare cost of inflation? Seminar topics are based on the two major workhorses of modern macroeconomics in this field: First, the New Classical framework which assumes price-taking behavior of all market participants combined with perfect price flexibility on all markets. Second, the New Keynesian models which incorporate various frictions such as monopolistic competition and/or staggered price adjustments. In recent years, the New Keynesian approach has become the dominant framework used at central banks to guide decisions on monetary policy.

Finance Seminars

The goal of this seminar course on ”Financial systems” is to make students aware of – and able  to deal with - the specific problems encountered in a subfield of international finance, namely the analysis of internationally operating banks and other financial  institutions, comparative financial systems of industrialized countries and finance in developing, emerging and transition countries.
More specifically, students are supposed to learn more about:

  • Structures and strategies of international banks
  • The perils and possibilities of foreign market entry and exit
  • Current problems of financial regulation
  • Globalization and ”financialization”
  • Types of financial systems and relevant measurement
  • Financial integration and its measurement
  • Emerging country financial systems
  • Recent developments in development finance

In this seminar we discuss recent experimental papers that investigate important aspects of organizational economics. Topics include cooperation, coordination, self-selection, incentives, and leadership.

The objective of this Seminar is to equip students with advanced theory and techniques relevant to asset management. Asset management is the systematic process of optimally allocating funds to both the traditional (e.g. equities, bonds, and real estate) as well as alternative (e.g. hedge funds, commodities, and life—contingent claims) asset classes, taking into account their respective risk and return profiles as well as the interdependencies among them. This process is highly relevant for institutional investors (e.g. mutual funds, insurance companies, and pension funds) but increasingly also for households trying to make optimal consumption and saving decisions over the life—cycle. Seminar topics will build on and complement contents of the Master Course Advanced Investment and Pension Finance (INVP). The Seminar will be conducted in English. Students taking this Seminar course are expected to have some experience with Microsoft Excel or Matlab.

The proper functioning of the banking sector depends heavily on the effectiveness of corporate governance. In the recent 2007/09 crisis, governance in banking was massively under critique. Governance weaknesses at banks were blamed to be one of the main drivers of the financial crisis. It is argued that CEOs whose incentives were better aligned with interest of shareholders performed worse in the crisis. As a lesson learnt, many institutions including the BIS and the OECD called after the crisis for better board practices. Many reports examine how effectively boards manage to align executive and board remuneration with the longer term interests of their companies. Conse-quently, the aim of this seminar will be to analyze bank governance before and after the financial crisis.

The primary objective of this Master seminar is to introduce students to the interplay between central banks and their monetary policy and developments in financial markets. Students will be given an academic paper as background reading and starting point for their paper.

The seminar deals with recent developments in empirical asset pricing. Each student will be assigned essentially one research paper which has to be assessed critically. The students are supposed to review the related literature, try to replicate the empirical results of the paper on their own, try to extend the findings with different datasets, different methodologies, robustness checks etc.

In the seminar Equity Governance participants will deal with methods of steering and controlling of an enterprise. In the framework of the seminar, corporate governance will be interpreted in a broader sense as the interaction of decision-making processes, organizational execution and financial management, which support long-term value creation and a sustainable company direction.

The seminar follows a prescribed, structured approach from an owners perspective (equity governance). The approach focuses on proven tools and concepts, which allow active owners/investors, supervisory/advisory boards, consultants as well as the management itself to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities and threats in order to give new impetus and momentum. Adaptions refer to, for example, organizational structure, processes and systems and leadership methods. Key words outlining the different themes of the seminar include: defining the investment case, shaping the board agenda, adjusting to industry dynamics, creating portfolio momentum, optimizing capital intensity (including an excursus on digitization and automation), improving productivity and providing debt capacity/increasing resilience.

The seminar takes place in cooperation with a company. Students will have the opportunity to scan the corporate governance of the company against the background of the structured approach as a real case study and thus have the possibility to experience the potential of governance methods.

Students will present to and discuss the results of their findings with representatives of the company. The knowledge acquired in the seminar is relevant for various management functions, which show a broad and interdisciplinary assignment profile.

The seminar deals with topics of asset pricing. Each student wil be assigned a particular topic. The students are supposed to review the related literature and to summarize and explain the important issues. Some of the topics might involve some empirical work or some programming (VBA or Matlab). Topics covered include:

  1. Stochastic Discount Factor: Complete Market
  2. Long-Run Risk Model and Epstein-Zin Preferences
  3. Campbell-Cochrance Model and Habit Formation
  4. Bond Pricing and Inflation
  5. Intertemporal Hedging
  6. Intertemporal CAPM
  7. Household Finance: Labor Income and Portfolio Choice
  8. Household Finance: Limited Participation and Limited Diversification
  9. Production-Based Asset Pricing: Physical Investment with Adjustement Costs
  10. Production-Based Asset Pricing: General Equilibrium with Production

The course “Financial Instruments: Stocks, Bonds, Derivatives and Hedge Funds” covers truly “noble” ideas: The course discusses the main building blocks of modern finance for which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Sveriges Riskbank Prizes in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1990, 1997, 2002, 2003 and 2013. These concepts are essential for investment professionals analyzing and trading stocks, bonds, derivatives and managing traditional portfolios as well as alternative investments such as hedge funds. Asset prices affect the daily life of many people and contain important information for a wide variety of decision makers. The purpose of the course is to make each student (more) familiar with the main building blocks of modern finance and to show how financial analysts and portfolio managers can implement the concepts in practice. The course participants have to study several articles and textbook chapters discussing six fundamental concepts: (1)   MM—Theorem (Nobel Memorial Prize 1990); (2)   CAPM and empirical analysis of asset prices (Nobel Memorial Prizes 1990 and 2013); 3)   B&S Model (Nobel Memorial Prize 1997); (4)   Behavioral Finance (Nobel Memorial Prizes 2002 and 2013); (5)   ARCH models (Nobel Memorial Prize 2003); (6)   Cointegration (Nobel Memorial Prize 2003). The reading list will be made available on the learning platform OLAT: olat.server.uni—frankfurt.de/olat/dmz/. The six concepts will be discussed in the first two meetings on April 29th and May 6th. “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand”: The participants will form groups / be assigned to a group during the first meeting on April 29th. The groups will meet on a weekly basis between May 6th and July 3rd, to prepare the group presentations. Each group has to present one of the six concepts in form of a presentation in the third and fourth course meeting on July 8th and July 9th. The presentation should discuss both the given theoretical concept (2/3 of the presentation) and a practical example (1/3 of the presentation). Concrete practical examples will be assigned to each group: (1)   Equity valuation using a DCF model (“MM—Theorem group”); (2)   Empirical analysis of the risk and return characteristics of a given hedge fund strategy (“CAPM / Empirical analysis group”); (3)   Analysis of a given derivate strategy (“B&S group”); (4)   Analysis of stock markets using “Shiller PE ratios” (“Behavioral Finance group”); (5)   Estimation of time—varying volatilities using an ARCH model (“ARCH group”); (6)   Discussion of a statistical arbitrage (“pairs trading”) strategy using a cointegration model  (“Cointegration group”).

Entrepreneurial thinking and acting are core competencies of the 21st century. This course teaches the processes and techniques which are necessary to start an own business. Students from different disciplines form interdisciplinary teams and develop their own business ideas and models. In this way — comparable to the real start—up situations — different perspectives and expertise are incorporated into marketable business projects.

Students learn about tools and methods that are useful for the discovery, evaluation and implementation of their own business ideas. At the beginning of the semester, students have the opportunity to propose their own business ideas. The best proposals will be further developed in teams in a pre—structured process (preliminary market analysis, competitive analysis etc.). At the end of the semester, students have the opportunity to present their business ideas to potential investors and experts.

Designed as real world business situations students learn throughout the entire course, what is needed in order to develop and implement a successful business model:

Content:

  • search, identify and evaluate innovative business opportunities
  • develop business ideas by using appropriate methods and techniques
  • discover and develop customer needs
  • analyze and evaluate the environment of a business concept
  • develop sustainable business models

Project Management:

  • manage innovative (i.e. unclear and less structured) projects successfully
  • make decisions under uncertainty
  • management of several different stakeholders
  • merge the main project results into a business proposal

Teamwork:

  • collaboration in an interdisciplinary team
  • recognize and utilize the individual strengths of team members
  • deal with different working styles, opinions and perspectives

Communication:

  • lively discussions in interactive sessions
  • solve complex issues (project results) in a clearly structured and understandable process
  • write and present orally for different audiences and target groups

The empirical banking literature steadily continues to develop new research questions – mostly related to evaluating the impact of regulatory measures on bank behavior. However, for a large number of papers, the empirical evidence is either outdated or based on data from the US only. In this seminar, we want to inspect the European banking sector (and especially the German banking sector) and answer various interesting research questions with a special emphasis on the EU.

Some topics we will cover in the seminar include (subject to potential changes):

  • Is competition in the German banking sector too hard so that banks cannot generate high enough profits?
  • Are government-owned banks more profitable than private banks?
  • Why are German private banks not more profitable than their European peers are, although they can rely on a strong retail business?
  • What drives bank profits in the aggregate (cross-country study)?
  • Which factors made banks most vulnerable in the 2008 financial crisis?
  • Which banks benefit most from the low interest rate environment?
  • Which banks are mostly affected by the increasing competition by FinTechs?
  • To what extent does sovereign risk feed back to bank risk?

The aim of the seminar is to provide a broad overview concerning some relevant questions in the empirical banking literature and to convey the basic principles of writing research oriented essays. Furthermore, the seminar will help to understand and evaluate the current literature, finding open questions in this area and developing own ideas. Thus, the seminar will provide skills that are not only extremely helpful as a perfect preparation for writing a Master thesis, it will also train you to conduct data work as it is required when working, e.g., for a consultancy firm.

The term microfinance (MF) refers to the provision of financial services to people in developing and transition countries who have formerly not had access to the formal financial sector, that is, to small and very small businesses and relatively poor people. At the latest, MF has become a widely known and widely recognized element of development policy in 2005 when Prof. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he had founded several years earlier were jointly awarded the Noble Peace Price. Shortly after this, the wave of enthusiasm for MF was at its peak. However, for various reasons, the enthusiasm created by the Noble Peace Price has relatively soon given way to a more skeptical assessment of MF and its potential and challenges. A crucial determinant for how MF can work and has an impact is how microfinance institutions (MFIs) are designed, managed and supported in the context of development aid policy.

There is abundant evidence that many households make costly mistakes when it comes to managing their financial wealth and saving for retirement. Observable household investment and financing behavior is rarely consistent with the precepts of modern finance theory. This seminar will not only deal with typical household financial decisions and widespread mistakes but will also focus on possible instruments and mechanisms to help households improve their decision making. Topics will include long-term asset allocation, portfolio choice in the presence of background risk, the role of financial advice, financial product design, emerging retail banking business models and changes in pension systems. Seminar participants are expected to write a paper that surveys the relevant literature. Seminar papers are presented and discussed in class.

The objective of the seminar is to build on the knowledge acquired in the bachelor seminar on European Insurance Regulation. Students are required to research a specific topic, to report about their research and to discuss the results of the research with their fellow students. As opposed to the bachelor seminar, the topics in the master seminar will have to be researched on a comparative basis. The topics will be provided in advance and will relate to issues such as the ORSA, key governance functions, assessment of fit and proper requirement for key function holders, internal model approval, market conduct issues, insurance distribution, etc.

The last financial crisis resulted in an unprecented liquidity shock on banks in the U.S. and abroad. Banks are known as the main credit providers to firms and households, so a well functioning banking system is central to the real economic activity. Therefore, to stabilize the banking system, many governments around the world responded to the crisis with conventional and unconventional monetary policies. In addition, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision introduced Basel III as a set of precautionary measures that is imposed on banks to protect the economy from financial crises similar to the last one. The objective of this seminar is to analyze the banking system before and after the financial crisis with a focus on financial regulation and sustainability.

The primary objective of this Master seminar is to survey the major theoretical and empirical issues regarding financial regulation and specifically the current regulation and supervision on Systemic Risk. Systemic Risk is currently one of the most debated concepts in financial regulation, financial economics, banking and macro—finance.

Top