Master 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.


Current suggestions for topics (March 16, 2022)

  1. Price Convergence on the EU Single Market
    Goldberg, P. K., Verboven, F. (2005). Market integration and convergence to the Law of One Price: evidence from the European car market. Journal of international Economics 65(1): 49-73.
    Fischer, C. (2012). Price convergence in the EMU? Evidence from micro data. European Economic Review 56(4): 757-776.
  2. Regional Effects of Trade Liberalization
    Hanson, G. H. (1997). Increasing returns, trade and the regional structure of wages. The economic journal, 107(440), 113-133.
    Brülhart, M., Carrère, C., & Trionfetti, F. (2012). How wages and employment adjust to trade liberalization: Quasi-experimental evidence from Austria. Journal of International Economics, 86(1), 68-81.
  3. The role of Special Economic Zones for regional economic development
    Lu, Y., Wang, J., & Zhu, L. (2019). Place-based policies, creation, and agglomeration economies: Evidence from China’s economic zone program. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 11(3), 325-60.



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 Annalisa Tassi. 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.


Overview of finished master’s theses

  • Government Performance – the Role of Politicians: Does higher remuneration of public officials improve government performance?
  • Fiscal Sovereignty and Cooperation in the Eurozone
  • Public policy and the informal sector in Mexico: options for reform
  • 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