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Master’s theses

The Chair offers master’s theses on all topics related to public finance. Students can either work on a purely literature-based topic or decide on a topic with an empirical analysis. However, an empirical thesis requires advanced knowledge of econometric methods and experience with at least one statistics program (e.g. Stata). Additionally, sufficient data for an empirical analysis on the preferred field of research has to be available.

 

Procedure

There are no special requirements for writing a master’s thesis at our Chair, but we recommend visiting some public economics courses that are offered by our chair and also taking part in one of our seminars.

You can start working on your thesis at any given point in time. If you are interested in writing your thesis at our chair, please contact one of the chair members via e-mail. Usually, it is required that you already have some general idea or a specific proposal regarding the topic of your thesis. In consultation with the chair members, your topic will then be specified.

Typically, the process of writing a master’s thesis at our Chair is the following:

  • Contacting the Chair via e-mail (please include your proposal for a topic or at least some general idea)
  • Preliminary talk with one of the Chair members
  • Specification of the topic and registration at the examination office
  • Discussion of the outline with your supervisor
  • Presentation after about 4 months
  • Submission of your thesis after 6 months at the latest

 

Formal aspects

The scope of a master’s thesis is 50-60 pages of pure text, not including tables and illustrations. It is worth 30 ECTS (25 ECTS for the thesis itself and 5 ECTS for the presentation).

Students have to hand in two printed versions and one electronical version (on CD or USB stick) of their thesis at the examination office.

Our Guide to Writing Master’s Theses gives you additional in-depth information on the procedure and formal requirements of writing a master’s thesis at our Chair.

 

Recent topics for master’s theses to be supervised at the chair
In addition to the regular program, Master’s theses are currently being offered on the following topics. Interested students please contact Tobias Görbert, e-mail: tobias.goerbert@fau.de

Topic 1: Measuring efficiency of government’s forecast errors in public budget balances

“By now it is clear to all that the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) has failed to keep budget deficits and debt levels of eurozone members within the limits specified. […] In response to the euro crisis that began in 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed and won acceptance for a new Fiscal Compact among the euro states. The goal of the compact is to strengthen fiscal rules among euro members, in particular by writing them into laws and constitutions at the national level. […] One factor behind excessive budget deficits worldwide is a tendency for official forecasts of growth rates, tax receipts, and budget balances to be over-optimistic.” Jeffry Frankel and Jesse Schregger, 2013, Review of World Economics, 149, p. 248.

Frankel, J., & Schreger, J. (2013). Over-optimistic official forecasts and fiscal rules in the Eurozone.
Review of World Economics, 149, 247-272.

Keane, M. P., & Runkle, D. E. (1989). Are economic forecasts rational? Quarterly Review of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 13, 26-33.

Topic 2: Measuring efficiency of government’s forecast errors in public ependitures

“By now it is clear to all that the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) has failed to keep budget deficits and debt levels of eurozone members within the limits specified. […] In response to the euro crisis that began in 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed and won acceptance for a new Fiscal Compact among the euro states. The goal of the compact is to strengthen fiscal rules among euro members, in particular by writing them into laws and constitutions at the national level. […] One factor behind excessive budget deficits worldwide is a tendency for official forecasts of growth rates, tax receipts, and budget balances to be over-optimistic.” Jeffry Frankel and Jesse Schregger, 2013, Review of World Economics, 149, p. 248.

Frankel, J., & Schreger, J. (2013). Over-optimistic official forecasts and fiscal rules in the Eurozone.
Review of World Economics, 149, 247-272.

Keane, M. P., & Runkle, D. E. (1989). Are economic forecasts rational? Quarterly Review of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 13, 26-33.

Topic 3: Measuring efficiency of government’s forecast errors in public income

“By now it is clear to all that the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) has failed to keep budget deficits and debt levels of eurozone members within the limits specified. […] In response to the euro crisis that began in 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed and won acceptance for a new Fiscal Compact among the euro states. The goal of the compact is to strengthen fiscal rules among euro members, in particular by writing them into laws and constitutions at the national level. […] One factor behind excessive budget deficits worldwide is a tendency for official forecasts of growth rates, tax receipts, and budget balances to be over-optimistic.” Jeffry Frankel and Jesse Schregger, 2013, Review of World Economics, 149, p. 248.

Frankel, J., & Schreger, J. (2013). Over-optimistic official forecasts and fiscal rules in the Eurozone.
Review of World Economics, 149, 247-272.

Keane, M. P., & Runkle, D. E. (1989). Are economic forecasts rational? Quarterly Review of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 13, 26-33.

 

Topics of previously finalized master’s theses at the Chair (updated 31.08.2018):

  • Developments in the Value Added Tax in the EU with focus in personal income tax and social security contributions
  • Consumer and Price Responses to Energy Efficiency Subsidies for White Goods: Evidence from the EU
  • Consumption Tax in the Digital Age
  • The Effect of a Change in South Africa’s Transfer Pricing Rules on Corporate Tax Planning
  • The Impact of Territorial Tax Reforms on Foreign Direct Investment: Empirical Evidence from a Multi-Country Panel Study
  • Taxation and the Forward-Looking Nature of Firm Investment
  • The Effects of Corporate Taxation on FDI: A Case Study of Czech Republic and Slovak Republik