Department of Economics, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Boltzmannstr.20, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.
12/2008: Diplom in Economics, Freie Universitaet Berlin
2000-2008: Studies in Physics, History and Economics at Technische Universitaet Berlin, Freie Universitaet Berlin and Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)
Fields of Interest
Income and Wealth Distribution
Income and Wealth Concentration
Taxes on Income and Wealth
FinanzArchiv / Public Finance Analysis; The Review of Income and Wealth
German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik VfS); International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF); Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ)
Conference and Seminar Presentations
Current Research Projects
Progression Effects of the German Dual Income Tax
This paper analyzes the effect of the introduction of a final withholding tax on capital income on the progression of the German income tax. As previous literature shows, even with synthetic income taxation, tax progression was strongest in the middle of the income distribution, decreased for high incomes, and was not observable at the very top (notably for the richest top 0.001 % of potential taxpayers). In 2009, capital income was excluded from the German synthetic income tax tariff. Since then, it is taxed at a lower final withholding tax rate. This paper explores the effect of this change on the overall progression on total income and on horizontal equity. The analysis is based on a microlevel panel dataset of income tax returns between 2001 and 2006. This data provides information on the distribution of total taxable income and is particularly representative for the top of the income distribution. Top income fractiles are defined on gross incomes.
The Role of Capital Income for Top Incomes Shares in Germany (with C. Bartels)
A large literature has documented top income share series based on income tax statistics using the common methodology established by Piketty (2001, 2003). The disappearance of capital income from the income tax base in many countries poses a major challenge to the comparability of these series both over time and between countries. First, we extend the existing German series including capital gains to 2010, and the series excluding capital gains to 2008. Second, we derive three homogeneous series by simulating legislative definitions of capital income prevailing in Germany between 2001 and 2010. For both simulation and the exclusion of capital gains, we employ a rich data set containing the tax files of all income taxpayers. Third, we construct a composite measure of stock dividends and interest income tax flows as a proxy for capital income missing in the data since 2009. We find that the drop in top income shares obtained from income tax statistics in the crisis year 2009 is largely attributable to the exclusion of capital income from the income tax base.
(2010) Dokumentation des Extended Income Tax Dataset EITD (with G. Struch), Mimeo, Universitaet Passau und FU Berlin.
(2014) The Role of Capital Income for Top Incomes Shares in Germany (with C. Bartels), FU Berlin Discussion Paper (Economics), 2014/32.