Master Theses

The Chair offers master’s theses on various 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.


The current list of topic areas includes (20.12.2023):

  • Regional Economics
  • Local Public Finance
  • VAT and VAT Evasion
  • Charitable Giving
  • Fiscal Equalization
  • Empirical Analysis of Taxes
  • Historical Analysis of German Tax System
  • Forecast Evaluation of Taxes
  • Income Tax and Migration
  • Regional Business Cycles and Regional Output Gaps
  • Fiscal Rules
  • Local Public Reserves


The master’s thesis is usually written in English (especially if you are studying in the MSE program). German language might be possible, albeit subject to consultation.



Students are required to have participated in a seminar. We also recommend visiting some public economics courses that are offered by our chair.

If you are interested in writing your thesis at our chair, please contact Annalisa Tassi.

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

  • Contacting the Chair via e-mail (please include a proposal or at least some general idea and specify the topic area)
  • 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 electronic 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

  • Determinants of incidence, pass-through and evasion of sales and excise taxes. How does shifting the point of taxation influence the outcome?
  • Economic Shocks and Consumer Behavior: Evidence from the Market for White Goods in Europe
  • International Profit Taxation and Digital Services
  • Taxation and Profit Shifting of Multinational Corporations
  • 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 Republic