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Mandatory Courses (36 LP)

The Master’s in Public Economics emphasizes a solid foundation of economic knowledge. The core courses consist of 5 courses and the colloqium Academic Practice, which build off your knowledge gained during your bachelor's degree. In order to pass these courses, a good basis of microeconomic theory is necessary.

We suggest you complete these 5 courses within the first 2 semesters of study. All of the 5 courses are in English.

At the end of your studies, you will participate in a colloquium to present the conclusions of your Master’s Thesis.

Our course in Macroeconomics is based on the Bachelor’s course and provides advanced methods in modern Macroeconomic models. If you are interested in further elective courses in this area, you should complete this course at the beginning of your Master’s.


  • Solow-Model

  • Ramsey-Model

  • Real Business Cycle

  • New keynesian Model

  • Dynamic Optimization

This course discusses the Theory of Market Failure from a public finance perspective and provides advanced methods for analyzing public expenditure. Students shall learn to analyze fundamental problems of a welfare state in an independent manner and to assess the economic importance of central welfare institutions within a market economy.


  • Role of the welfare state

  • Market failure and insurance

  • Ensuring labor income through the State

  • Redistribution by means of income taxation

  • Public supply of private goods

  • Poverty alleviation

Command of microeconometric methods is a key requirement for the independent execution of empirical analysis in the field of Public Finance. Besides fundamental empirical models, students shall learn quasi-experimental methods of modern causal analysis. The theoretical contents are illustrated through empirical analyses of microdata in relation to current economic policy issues. The goal of this course is to enable students to perform independent, empirical work and to analyze and develop the presented methods and approaches.


  • Logit, Probit, Tobit models

  • Difference-in-differences methods

  • Instrumental variables

  • Randomized controlled trials (RTCs)

  • Regression discontinuity designs

Public Finance theories on optimal taxation as a part of Governmental Accounting are a fundamental component of this course. Based on the contents taught, the students obtain a deep understanding of the workings of taxes. Students learn about the relevant interest conflicts of taxation and discuss them from an economic perspective. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to provide economically founded recommendations in order to develop and analyze taxation theory and policy instruments.


  • Optimal taxation theory

  • Tax incidence analysis

  • The excess burden of taxation

  • Design of tax systems and tax reform

  • Conflict of interests between efficiency and redistribution

  • Taxation of external effects

This course provides students with an understanding of public finance interdependencies of open economies. In this respect, diverse issues such as European integration, globalization, tax competition, and global trade policy are presented. The goal of this course is to provide the economic tools to identify and solve public finance problems in scenarios with competing state stakeholders.


  • Federalism

  • Strategic aspects of taxation: e.g. tax competition, tax coordination.

  • Economics of international negotiations

  • International aspects of consumption, factor income and resource taxation

  • Economics of customs and trade policy.

Academic Practice is the colloqium, in which you present your Master's Thesis with other students. The goal is the help you improve your thesis as well as your skills in presenting your own academic work.