PSIA, Master in Environmental Sciences and Policy
is strictly regulated and market regulators spend millions of dollars to organize it. How should ﬁnancial information be released ? Who can use it to trade ? This controversy has pitted economists and lawyers against each other around divergent theories of bad (bad as fraudulent) and efﬁcient (bad as poorly skilled) traders. How (not) to be a bad trader studies the various positions and proposals pushed to organize the securities market around its most valuable resource, information. At stake in this controversy is the possibility of upholding the model of the universal investor launched during the WW1 to fund the war effort. The crux of the matter has revolved around the need to invite to the securities markets small investors. Being less sophisticated than professional investors, their moves on these markets can be suboptimal and they could potentially distort prices and undermine markets. But the ﬁnancial exchanges need them to grow. So more than one economist has advocated for a sequential release of ﬁnancial information whereby sophisticated investors would have ﬁrst access and trade on that basis before small investors would learn about that information and play with it. This would come close to legalizing insider trading, that is letting managers in publicly traded companies exploit information that would have impact on the value of stocks held by small investors. You should enroll in this course if you are interested in the following topics : economic regulations ; the role of economics as a science shaping markets ; the interplay of legal and economic thinking ; white-collar fraud. In this course, you will learn to study a sociotechnical controversy involving both political, social and scientiﬁc questions and for which no collective agreement has yet been found. This is a project/case-based course where you will work in a group of like-minded students willing to advance knowledge and invent a new hybrid form of scholarship straddling scientiﬁc social sciences and resolution of conﬂict. This is an exercise in a new diplomacy requiring both cultural sensitivity and new forms of scientiﬁc skills for you to analyze them objectively. You will work in a team of up to 15 students.
Towards the end of the course, you will make a public presentation of the deliverables of the course during a public performance where journalists and concerned parties of your project will be invited. This course will develop a series of skills : It will teach you to search documents (at times very technical documents) on the web and to organize them in a systematic manner to study them ; Studying them will require a series of tools. Each controversy demands its own unique combination of tools. You will not become masters of each and every of these tools, but you will develop a familiarity and an understanding of the promises and difﬁculties of analyzing dozens or thousands of documents. The delivery of these exercises, involving close reading and data-mining, will force you to think deep and hard about modes of presentation. Required reading : You need to read a book to prepare for the course : Latour, Bruno. 1986. Science in Action. Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press.
NATURAL RESOURCE ECONOMICS : ADVANCED (LECTURE)
Semester : Autumn Number of hours : 24 Language of tuition : English
Teachers : Can Askan MAVI (Etudiant doctorant), Katrin MILLOCK (Chargée de recherche). Prerequisite : The course assumes no previous prerequisites in economics. It will aim to be as non-technical as possible, but there will extensive use of graphical arguments and some simple algebra. Pedagogical format : Lecture alone Course validation : The course grade is based on a written midterm exam (30%) in class before the October break, a take-home assignment with a practical calculation exercise (20%) to be handed in in November, and a ﬁnal written exam (50%) scheduled during ﬁnals week in December. Pedagogical method : Lecture format, but active participation is expe